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"vtfT^T uj } -HTffa' sfz& vwm; 
"acEf 'tBixr are* gGtsV "^te ^cwt. 

The egg of superstition hath burst; the 
mind is illumined : 

The Guru hath cut the fetters off the feet 
and freed the captive. 

Guru Arjan 






Bhagats of the Granth Sahib i 

Life and Hymns of Jaidev 4 

Life of Namdev 17 

Namdev's Hymns 4° 

Trilochan 76 

Parmanand 82 

Sadhna 84 

Beni 88 

Ramanand and Ramanuj 93 

Dhanna 106 

PlPA Ill 

Sain 120 

Life of Kabir 122 

Kabir's Hymns 14 2 

Kabir's Sloks 278 

Life of Rav Das 3*6 

Rav Das's Hymns 321 

Mira Bai 342 

Life of Shaikh Farid 356 

Hymns and Sloks of Farid 39 1 

Bhikan 414 

Sur Das 417 


There have lived in India from time immemorial 
saints and thinkers who were dissatisfied with the 
superstitions and religious vagaries of the Hindus. 
They gradually evolved a belief in one God and 
preceded Guru Nanak as the dawn before sunrise. 
Abrupt indigenous alterations of religion have rarely, 
if ever, been presented to human experience. Some 
of the writings of the Guru's immediate precursors 
called Bhagats, or saints, are preserved in the Granth 
Sahib compiled by Guru Arjan. He selected for 
inclusion therein, with equal impartiality the writ- 
ings of both Hindus and Musalmans, as they suited 
his purpose, and contributed to the great cause of 
religious reformation. We find in the sacred volume 
compositions of J aide v, Namdev, Trilochan, Parma- 
nand, Sadhna, Beni, Ramanand, Dhanna, Pipa, Sain, 
Kabir, Rav Das, Sur Das, verses of at least two 
Musalman saints, Farid and Bhikan ; and one recen- 
sion of the sacred volume called Banno's Granth, 
preserved at Mangat in the Gujrat district of the 
Panjab, contains a hymn composed by Mira Bai, 
Queen of Chitaur. It is believed that Guru Arjan 
did not give it a place in his collection because the 
lady lived and died an idolater. 

The Hindu Bhagats for the most part began life 
as worshippers of idols, but by study and con- 
templation arrived at a system of monotheism which 
was appreciated by Guru Arjan. The Muhammadan 
Bhagats lived in Hindu centres, and became largely 
imbued with Hindu modes of thought, while they 

1 The word Bhagat comes from the Sanskrit bhakli, which means 
devotion, love, &c. 



at the same time retained their traditional belief in 
the Divine unity. There is no account given of 
these saints in any of the classical Sikh writings; 
but we have to the best of our power collected 
materials for the lives of most of them in the various 
places where they were born or where they flourished 
in India. Some civil officers have kindly made 
inquiries and furnished us with details from their 
districts, and political officers have also assisted in 
procuring information from the annals of native 

The writings of Nabhaji, Uddava Chidghan, 
Mahipati, Ganesh Dattatre, Maharaja Raghuraj 
Sinha, Dahyabhai Ghelabhai pandit, and others in 
different Indian languages, on the mediaeval saints 
of India have also been consulted. 

Nabhaji, the author of the Bhagat Mai, was born 
in the state of Gualiar. His original name is said 
to have been Narain Das. Everything relating to 
him is as wonderful as the legends he himself relates 
of his Vaishnav saints. He was born blind. When 
he was about five years of age there was a great 
famine in the land, and he was deserted by his 
parents in a forest, owing to their inability to main- 
tain him. He was found by Agar Das and Kil, two 
Hindu pilgrims, who were on their way to the 
Ganges. He told them his history, and they adopted 
him. Kil sprinkled some holy water from his gourd 
on the child's eyes, and he received his sight. He 
was employed to wait on the holy men, and in this 
capacity heard many legends of Indian saints of all 
epochs. These legends he recorded at the suggestion 
of Agar Das in a work called Sant Charitra, which 
formed the basis of his Bhagat Mai, a series of 
metrical chronicles in the Gualiar dialect, written 
about a. d. 1578. He was a contemporary of Raja 
Man Sinh of Jaipur, and consequently lived during 
the reign of the Emperor Akbar. It is recorded 
that he had an interview with Tulsi Das, the famous 


Hindu poet, who flourished in the reign of Shah 
Jahan. If so he must have lived to a very advanced 
age. Several additions and amplifications were 
made to Nabhaji's work by Priya Das and Pandit 
Lai Ji of Bindraban. It was subsequently written 
out in Hindu prose and translated into Urdu by 
different hands. Other writers in most of the great 
Indian dialects have written lives of the Vaishnav 
saints, but almost all are avowedly based on the 
work of Nabhaji. 

Nabhaji's Bhagat Mai is in all versions painfully 
disappointing. It may be compared to the mediaeval 
legends of saints once current in Europe, but it has 
the additional defect of brevity, and, like Hindu 
works generally, shows a total contempt for chron- 
ology. When one great man is but an incarnation 
of another who lived hundreds or thousands of 
years before, it seems superfluous to the Hindu 
biographer to consider such a trifle as the date of 
his successive appearances upon earth. Even the 
pious Hindus who at different times expounded and 
translated Nabhaji's work, each and all pass by the 
dates of the Bhagats without a word of apology to 
the reader. We are therefore generally left to shreds 
of extraneous evidence for the epochs of the Bhagats 
whose writings are contained in the Bible of the 

Uddava Chidghan was born in Dharur in Khan- 
desh. Once when he was celebrating the anniversary 
of the birth of Rama, and taking an image of that 
god into his house at Bedar in the Barars, some 
bigoted Muhammadans stoned the procession. A 
fight arose between the Hindus and Muhammadans. 
It is said that Hanuman, the monkey-god, espoused 
the cause of the Hindus, and fought against the 
Muhammadans, as he had done thousands of years 
before against Rawan. By Hanuman's aid Chid- 
ghan's party was victorious, and succeeded in 
burning a mosque in which the Muhammadans had 

B 2 


concealed themselves. The era in which Chidghan 
flourished has not been accurately ascertained. 

Mahipati was born in a. d. 1715 at Taharabad, in 
the Rahruri subdivision, about thirty-five miles 
from Ahmadnagar in the Bombay Presidency. He 
wrote the lives of saints in the Marathi language. 
His authorities were principally Nabhaji and Uddava 
Chidghan. He has himself given the Shaka year 
1696 (a. d. 1774) as the date of the completion of 
his Bhakta Lilamrita. He died in a. d. 1790. 

Maharaja Raghuraj Sinh, son of Maharaja Vi- 
swanath Sinh of the Baghel dynasty, chief of the 
Rewa state, was born in a. d. 1823, and died in 
1880. He inherited his literary talents from his 
father, who wrote a paraphrase of Kabir's Bijak, 
and about fifty tracts on Hindu religion, philosophy, 
and literature. Maharaja Raghuraj Sinh was one of 
the most renowned Hindi poets of his time, and he 
was also a most generous patron of the many Hindi 
and Sanskrit scholars who flocked to his court. In 
religion he was a strict adherent of Vaishnav tenets. 

We shall attempt to give the Lives and Writings 
of the Bhagats in chronological order. 


There were two distinguished men called Jaidev 
whose lives and acts are frequently confounded 
in Indian chronicles and biographies. One was a 
metaphysician and scholar who is said to have lived 
at the court of Vikramaditya. It is related of him 
that when a boy at school he was able to learn in 
a day as much as his schoolfellows could in a fort- 
night. Hence he was called Pakshadhar Misra. It 
is not with him we are at present concerned. 

The Jaidev whose hymns are found in the Granth 
Sahib is the celebrated Sanskrit poet who wrote 



the Gitgovind. His father was Bhoidev, a Brah- 
man of Kanauj, and his mother Bamdevi. He was 
born at Kenduli, about twenty miles from Suri, in 
the modern district of Birbhum in Lower Bengal. 
He became the most famous of the five distinguished 
poets who lived at the court of Lakshman Sen, king 
of Bengal, who dates from the year 1170 of the 
Christian era. The five poets were called the five 
jewels of Lakshman Sen's court, and so proud was 
the monarch of them that he erected a monument 
to preserve their names to succeeding ages. The 
specialities of the five poets are thus described by 
Jaidev himself : — 

Umapatidhara excelleth in word painting ; 
Jayadeva alone knoweth purity of style ; 
Sarana is praised for extempore rendering of difficult 
passages ; 

Govardhana surpasseth in description of love ; 
No one is so famed as the king of poets Dhoyi for remem- 
bering what he hath once heard. 

Very little is known of Jaidev's early life. It is 
certain that from his youth he was a diligent student 
of Sanskrit literature, and developed rare poetical 
talents. He is described by the author of the 
Bhagat Mai as an incarnation and treasury of 
melody, on which, however, he, owing to his ascetic 
habits, long preferred to feast his own soul rather 
than communicate to the world the splendid gifts 
he possessed. He wandered in several countries, 
provided with only a water-pot and dressed in the 
patched coat of a mendicant. Even pens, ink, and 
paper, generally so indispensable to literary men, 
were luxuries which he did not allow himself. Such 
was his determination to love nothing but God, 
that he would not sleep for two nights in succession 
under the same tree, lest he should conceive an 
undue preference for it and forget his Creator. 

It pleased God, with the object, it is stated, of 


saving the human race, to withdraw Jaidev from 
his ascetic life. For this purpose, the chronicler 
relates, God devised the following expedient. An 
Agnihotri Brahman of Jagannath, to whom a 
beautiful daughter named Padamavati had been 
born as the result of many offerings and prayers, 
brought her up with the object of dedicating her as 
a dancing girl to the local idol. Her father duly 
conducted her to the idol and was ordered to take 
her away and bestow her on the great saint Jaidev. 
On this she was taken to him, and he was in- 
formed of the divine decision in his favour. Jaidev 
reasoned with the Brahman, and told him he 
ought to give his daughter to some more wealthy 
man, who would be more suitable for her than a 
homeless ascetic like himself. The Brahman replied 
that he could not disobey God's order. Jaidev 
rejoined, ' God is master and omnipotent. He may 
have thousands and tens of thousands of wives, 
but one for me is the same as a hundred thousand ; ' 
that is, he had no more need or ability to maintain 
one than he had a hundred thousand. After further 
discussion, in which the Brahman failed, notwith- 
standing the exercise of all his powers of persuasion, 
he left his daughter with Jaidev. Before his depar- 
ture he told her it was impious to act in opposi- 
tion to the will of God. She was to remain with 
Jaidev, and obey him according to the instructions 
laid down for wives in the Hindu sacred writings. 

The tender girl remained with Jaidev and attended 
on him like his shadow. He is said to have repre- 
sented to her the futility of living with him : 
' Thou art wise,' he said ; ' endeavour to do some- 
thing to improve thy position ; I have no power to 
maintain and cherish thee.' She replied, ' What 
power hath this poor creature ? Thou canst do as 
thou pleasest. I am a sacrifice unto thee and shall 
never leave thee.' On this Jaidev believed that 
God was forcing him into the alliance, and he recon- 



ciled himself to the situation. As the first prepara- 
tion for domestic life he built a hut for his spouse, 
set up an idol in it, and applied himself to its worship. 
He then began the composition of the celebrated 
poem the Gitgovind. This is believed to have been 
his second composition, his first being a drama 
called Rasana Raghava. A third work attributed 
to him is Chandralok, an essay on the graces of 

The fact appears to be that the mantling fire of 
Jaidev's genius sought for an outlet, that with 
experience of life a change came over his religious 
opinions, that he resolved no longer to play the 
hermit, but accept the wife offered him, distinguish 
himself, and seek for worldly fame and its pleasures. 
God has been introduced ex machind into the nar- 
rative to save J aide v from the charges of incon- 
sistency and submission to human passion. 

The Gitgovind is well known in both hemispheres. 
It has been translated into English prose and para- 
phrased in English verse. 1 It is perhaps a solitary 
instance of a great popular poem composed in a 
dead language. In the twelfth century of the 
Christian era Sanskrit was, it is true, used as Latin 
was at the same time in Europe, but the great age 
had passed away when Sanskrit was a living lan- 
guage — the only recognized Indian vehicle of men's 
thoughts and aspirations. The Gitgovind is still not 
only remembered, but nightly chanted in the Kar- 
natik countries and other parts of India, because it 
is ostensibly a love song and its strains are sweet 
and find a responsive echo in the human heart. 2 

During the composition of the Gitgovind Jaidev 

1 Into prose by Sir William Jones and into exquisite verse by the 
late Sir Edwin Arnold. 

2 Jaidev has been more fortunate than Petrarch, the mediaeval 
Italian poet, in composing in a dead language. Petrarch composed 
a Latin poem entitled 'Africa', which is now never read, while his love 
sonnets are the delight of many cultivated minds. 


represented Radhika the heroine as pouting because 
Krishan the hero had followed other loves. Krishan 
alters his ways, and applies himself to the task of 
appeasing her and apologizing for his conduct. The 
poet was preparing to make Krishan address his 
lady love . ' Adorn my head by putting on it the 
lotus leaves of thy feet, which are an antidote to 
the poison of Cupid,' when he reflected that it would 
be a dishonour to his god if any woman were to put 
her feet on his head. While thus reflecting the poet 
ceased to write, and went to bathe, intending sub- 
sequently to alter the sentence into more conformity 
with the relative positions of the hero and heroine. 

What was Jaidev's surprise when on returning 
from his bath he found the verse completed exactly 
as he had subsequently intended ! He asked his wife 
how it had occurred. She told him he had returned 
himself, and having written the verse gone away 
again. Upon this Jaidev knew that Krishan him- 
self had written the verse, and thus hallowed the 
composition. The fame of the event and of the 
poem spread far and wide, and Jaidev obtained the 
high renown he had so earnestly sought. 

Satvika, King of Urisa (Orissa) at the time, was 
also a poet and learned man. He had accidentally 
selected for a poem the same subject as Jaidev, and 
he appears to have produced a work of respectable 
merit, which he directed his Brahmans to copy and 
circulate. In reply they showed him the composi- 
tion of Jaidev. They meant by this that the Raja's 
poem was as nothing in comparison with Jaidev's. 
As well compare a lamp with the sun. The Raja 
in his pride could not accept the Brahmans' criti- 
cism, but caused both poems to be placed in the 
temple of his capital, and promised to abide by the 
decision of the idol as to which was superior. 

The idol rejected the king's Gitgovind and took 
to his heart that of Jaidev. Upon this the Raja 
thinking himself greatly dishonoured was overcome 



by shame and jealousy, and set out to drown himself. 
Krishan is said to have taken pity on him. He 
appeared to him and told him it would be a vain 
and foolish act to put an end to his life. It was 
very clear that his poetical merit did not equal 
that of Jaidev, but, to compensate him for his dis- 
appointment, Krishan ordered that one of the Raja's 
verses should be inserted in each of the twelve cantos 
of Jaidev's poem, and both compositions should 
thus go forth to the world and down to distant 
ages. This was accordingly done. 

The estimation in which the Gitgovind was held 
may be gathered from the following anecdote. A 
gardener's daughter while one day gathering egg- 
plants was singing with great zest the following 
verse from the fifth canto of the poem : — 

The zephyr gently bloweth on the banks of the Yamuna 
while Krishan tarrieth in the grove. 

On this, it is said, the idol of Jagannath fol- 
lowed her wherever she went, with the object of 
feasting his heart on the dulcet strains. The idol 
wore only a thin jacket which was torn by the 
brambles. When the king went to worship and saw 
the condition of the idol's dress, he in astonishment 
asked the priests the cause. When the Raja learned 
what had occurred, he was perfectly satisfied of the 
superiority of the product of Jaidev's genius, and 
issued a proclamation that the Gitgovind should 
only be read in a clean and purified place, as Jagan- 
nath, the lord of the world, himself was in the habit 
of going to listen to it. 

Not only Hindus, but men of all creeds were 
enchanted with the composition. It is related that 
a Mughal, on hearing of the divine honours paid to 
the work, used to peruse it with the greatest delight. 
One day while riding he was singing its verses, when 
he fell into an ecstasy of pleasure, and thought that, 
though a Moslem, he felt communion with Krishan. 


Oriental chroniclers are enthusiastic in their 
praises of Jaidev. All other poets are compared 
to petty kings while he is the great chakrawarti or 
poetical monarch of the world. As the moon can- 
not be concealed by the stars, as the eagle cannot 
be surpassed by any bird in flight, as Indar attracts 
notice in the midst of the gods, so is Jaidev's fame 
conspicuous in the world. It may be added that 
Jaidev himself does not appear to have been in- 
sensible of his own merits. At the conclusion of 
the Gitgovind he writes, ' Whatever is delightful in 
the modes of music, whatever is exquisite in the 
sweet art of love let the happy and wise learn from 
the song of Jaidev.' 1 

Notwithstanding the lusciousness and sensuous 
beauty of several parts of the Gitgovind, there can 
be no doubt that Jaidev intended the poem as an 
elaborate religious allegory. This, too, is insisted 
on by the author of the Bhagat Mai, who states 
that the love scenes and rhetorical graces of the 
poet are not to be understood in the sense that 
persons of evil minds and dispositions attach to 
them. Radhika the heroine is heavenly wisdom. 
The milkmaids who divert Krishan from his al- 
legiance to her, are the senses of smell, sight, 
touch, taste, and hearing. Krishan represented as 
pursuing them is the human soul, which attaches 
itself to earthly pleasures. The return of Krishan 
to his first love is the return of the repentant sinner 
to God, which gives joy in heaven. 

After the completion of the poem Jaidev went 
to travel and visited Bindraban and Jaipur. To 
the latter place its king had given him a pressing 
invitation. While on those travels it is related that 
he met a party of thags. He knew what they were 
from their ready offer to accompany him on his j ourney . 
Without more ado he pulled out his purse and gave 

1 The reader will remember the exultations of Horace, Ovid, Moore, 
Poushkin, and others, on the completion of their immortal poems. 



them all the money and valuables he possessed, 
thus reasoning, ' Wealth is the basis of sin ; glut- 
tony produceth disease ; and love of the world 
purchaseth pain, so it is proper to discard all 

The thags at once suspected him. They had not 
been accustomed to obtain men's wealth without 
a struggle or without at least having made a request 
for it, and they concluded from Jaidev's readiness 
to part with his money, that he merely designed to 
have them arrested on their return to the city. 
One of them proposed to put him to death, but 
another said that would be a meaningless act. 
They only required his wealth, and that they had 
obtained. It was at last decided that they should 
cut off his hands and throw him into a narrow and 
dark well, and this was accordingly done. 

Jaidev, it is said, meekly accepted the treatment 
he had received as a fate predestined for him, and 
applied himself to divine contemplation and the 
utterance of God's name. It chanced that Karaunch, 
the King of Utkal, passed that way, and hearing 
that Jaidev was in the well caused him to be extri- 
cated. Jaidev was so little revengeful for the 
injuries he had sustained, that, in reply to the 
king's inquiries as to the cause of his mutilation, 
he told him he had been born so. The king became 
convinced that Jaidev was a saint, and congratulated 
himself on his good fortune in meeting such a man. 
The king had him conveyed to his capital where 
he was treated with all honour and respect, and 
a house set apart for him. He was, moreover, 
provided with food and every article of comfort. 
The king himself offered to become his servant, and, 
with hands clasped in the Oriental attitude of sup- 
plication, begged Jaidev to say what duty he could 
render him. Jaidev had one request to make, and 
that was that the king should serve holy men and 
not him. In happy faith and with open heart the 


king obeyed and performed menial service for the 
saints of God who were waiting at his gate. 1 The 
fact that the king was performing such services was 
noised abroad and the thags, among others, heard 
of it. They assumed the guise of religious men 
and proceeded to the monarch's gate. This led to 
an interview with Jaidev. He recognized them, and 
told the king that they were his brethren and very 
holy persons. Fortunate was the king in having 
been favoured with a sight of them, and devoutly 
ought he to serve and minister unto them. The 
king took them into his palace, and lavished on 
them every honour that Oriental politeness and 
hospitality could suggest. 

The thags, however, recognizing Jaidev, were 
troubled for their safety, and applied for permission 
to depart. This was finally granted, and Jaidev 
dismissed them with a large present of money and 
a convoy of soldiers for their protection. On the 
way the soldiers fell into conversation with their 
charge. They remarked that they had never be- 
fore seen visitors to the king so heartily and 
kindly treated, and they inquired in what relation- 
ship the men they were escorting stood to Jaidev. 
The thags replied : ' What shall we say ? It is not 
a fit thing to tell.' The soldiers promised them 
perfect secrecy. The thags then proceeded to exer- 
cise their inventive faculties developed by long 
practice. They said that Jaidev and they had been 
servants of a king. For some offence Jaidev had 
been condemned to death, and they had been ap- 
pointed his executioners. They merely, however, 
cut off his hands and thus saved his life. Through 
gratitude for that favour Jaidev induced the king 
to pay them such extraordinary attention. It is 
said that God could no longer endure the fabrica- 
tion of false charges against His saint. The ground 

1 This service consists in washing the saints' feet, waiting on them 
at dinner, walking round them in an attitude of adoration, &c, &c. 



opened beneath the feet of the thags, and they 
sank into the pit of hell. 

The soldiers in amazement returned to Jaidev 
and told him what had occurred. He began to 
tremble with pity for the thags, and made a gesture 
as if rubbing his hands — the Oriental attitude 
expressive of grief — whereupon, it is related, new 
hands sprouted from his body. The soldiers 
went and informed the king of the two miracles 
their eyes had beheld. The king proceeded to 
Jaidev and performed before him the prostration 
due to saints. He begged Jaidev to explain how 
the incidents had occurred. The saint for a long 
time refused, but, when greatly pressed by the king, 
gave him a detailed account of all the circum- 
stances. The king's faith in Jaidev had now reached 
its utmost limit, and he knew that the man before 
him in the guise of a saint was really a divine in- 
carnation. It is the usual custom of saints when 
they receive evil always to return good, even as 
bad men return evil for evil, so the king deemed 
his conclusion warranted by the forgiving conduct 
of Jaidev. 

Jaidev felt a longing for home and told the king 
of his determination to take his leave. The king 
put his head on the saint's feet, and represented to 
him that his country had turned to God and the 
practice of virtue, since it had been trodden by his 
holy feet. If the saint were to depart, the king's 
subjects would turn away from their faith. He 
therefore implored him to defer his departure. As 
a further inducement to Jaidev to abide with 
him, he went himself and brought Padamavati so 
that the saint's happiness might be complete, and 
his distant home forgotten. Padamavati was in- 
stalled in the royal palace, and the queen received 
stringent orders to perform all menial offices for her. 

While Padamavati resided at the court the queen's 
brother died, and his wife was burned with him on 


the funeral pyre. One day when the queen was 
boasting of the wonderful devotion of her sister- 
in-law, Padamavati smiled. When asked the reason 
she replied, ' To burn oneself alive with one's 
husband's corpse is far from being the acme of 
affection. True affection and love require a woman 
to sacrifice herself directly she even heareth of her 
husband's death.' ' In the present age,' replied the 
queen, ' thou alone art such a Sati,' a word defined 
by the author of the Bhagat Mai as a ' woman who 
considereth her husband a god and hath no con- 
cern with any other deity.' Not feeling flattered 
by the well-nigh unapproachable standard of con- 
jugal devotion which alone Padamavati considered 
as worthy of admiration, the queen determined to 
put her to the test at the first opportunity. 

One day when Jaidev was absent from home, the 
queen arranged that one of the royal servants in 
pretended haste was to come to her when with 
Padamavati, and inform the latter that Jaidev had 
been attacked and killed in the forest by a tiger. 
On the servant coming to where they were seated and 
repeating this carefully tutored story, Padamavati 
swooned and fell lifeless to the ground. 1 

The queen who had brought about this disaster, 
turned pale and became distracted at the unexpected 
turn of events. She was severely rebuked by the 
king when he heard of the occurrence. Life became 
bitter to her, and she made preparations for death 
on a funeral pyre which she had constructed. When 
the circumstances were communicated to Jaidev, he 
appeared in time to hinder the immolation of the 
queen, and approaching the dead Padamavati sang 
his well-known ashtapadis. To the surprise and 
joy of all, she was restored to life, it is said, and 
joined her husband in his song. 

1 The story in Nabhaji's Bhagat Mai makes the king join in the 
plot. We adopt in preference the story in the Marathi work, Bharal 
khanda cha aravachiin Kosh. 



Jaidev and his wife by this time had had sufficient 
experience of regal life. They were glad to abandon 
all state and return to their lowly home at Kenduli, 
where they enjoyed the society of saints and trans- 
ferred their idolatrous devotion to the love and 
homage of the one true God. 

On the anniversary of Jaidev's birth a religious 
fair is held at Kenduli, the poet's birthplace, and 
is attended by thousands of Vaishnavs who cele- 
brate the occasion by assembling round his cenotaph 
for worship, and singing the most sublime portions 
of his immortal songs. 

The following hymns of Jaidev in far other style 
and manner, and written in the popular language 
of his time, are found in the Granth Sahib. 



God's attributes, moral injunctions, and the in- 
utility of Hindu forms of worship : — 

Before all things was the Being who is unrivalled and 
endued with permanence and similar attributes ; 1 

Who is supremely wonderful, distinct from nature, incom- 
prehensible, and pervadeth creation. 

Repeat only the beloved God's name, 

Which is ambrosia and the essence of all things. 

By remembering Him the fear of birth, old age, and 
death afflicteth us not. 

If thou desire the defeat of the god of death and his 
train, praise and bless God, and do good works. 

God is equally in the present, past, and future, im- 
perishable, and supremely happy. 

1 The attributes of God here meant are sal, stability or permanence ; 
chit, sensation ; and anand, happiness. 


0 man, if thou seek to do good acts, renounce greed and 
the coveting of another's house, 1 

Together with all evil deeds and evil inclinations, and 
seek the protection of God. 

Embrace the service of God alone in thought, deed, and 

What availeth the practice of jog, sacrifice, alms, and 
penance ? 

0 man, utter the name of God, the Bestower of all super- 
natural power. 

Jaidev hath come openly into the asylum of Him who is in 
the present and the past, who is contained in all things. 


The following hymn, which in the original is per- 
haps one of the most difficult of human compositions, 
is given to illustrate the practice of jog. 2 

1 drew up my breath by the left nostril, I fixed it 
between both nostrils 3 and I drew it down by the right 
repeating oam sixteen times at each process. 

1 That is, his wife and property. 

2 It has been explained that jog means the union of the soul with 
God, and the first means of effecting this is to train and obtain com- 
plete mastery over the inspiratory and expiratory organs. In the first 
stage of this exercise the breath is drawn up through the left nostril, 
called t'ra, while the syllable oam, one of the symbols of God, is slowly 
repealed sixteen times. The breath is then suspended in the upper 
part of the nose where both nostrils meet. This junction of the nostrils 
is called sukhmana. As the breath has been drawn up by the left 
nostril, so it is forced down through the right, called pingala, the 
syllable oam being again sixteen times repeated. 

But the highest exercise of this practice is drawing the breath up to 
the brain, which in the language of the Jogis is styled the tenth gate, 
the other gates or apertures of the body being the eyes, ears, nose, 
mouth, &c. To assist in keeping the breath in the brain, the tongue 
is bent backwards so as to close the air passage. The operator also 
exerts himself to allow no breath to issue by the mouth or nostrils. 
A state of suspended animation then ensues. The brain is heated, 
and is said to distil nectar which falls on the tongue, and then a state 
of ecstasy supervenes. Skill in this practice, which is said to greatly 
weaken the body, is nowadays obtained by very few persons. 

3 Nad appears to mean here what is known to the Jogis as the 


My strength I broke, and I have become weak ; my 
unstable mind I fixed and made stable ; my unfashioned 
mind I fashioned, and then I quaffed nectar. 

In that state I sang of Him who preceded the soul 1 and 
the three qualities. 2 

The idea that Thou and I are distinct hath been removed. 

What was worthy of worship I worshipped, what was 
worthy of trust I trusted ; and I have become blended 
with God as water with water. 

Saith Jaidev, I have repeated God's name, 3 and becoming 
absorbed in His love have obtained Him who liveth undis- 


Namdev was the son of Damasheti, a tailor, who 
resided at Narsi Bamani, a village near Karhad in 
the Satara district of the Bombay Presidency. 
Namdev's mother was Gonabai, daughter of a tailor 
at Kalyan, in the same district. Both Namdev's 

1 God the Supreme Spirit, is the source whence the souls, jivatama, 
of all animals have proceeded. The soul can only return to God by 
good works and laborious struggles for perfection. As long as God 
and the soul are distinct, the latter is subject to transmigration. 
When by the practice of good works the light of the soul blends 
with the light of God, nirvan, or eternal rest, is obtained. 

2 That is, from whom the soul and the three qualities emanated. 
God being a spirit cannot be said from a human point of view to 
possess any attributes. 

3 Jaidev, which literally means victory to God. 

* The accounts of Namdev current in different provinces and 
languages of India are, for the most part, incorrect. The most trust- 
worthy materials for his life are contained in the Gatha, compiled by 
Mr. Tukaram Tatya. It contains many hymns attributed to Namdev 
himself, but even these contain several exaggerations. 

The author is indebted to Messrs. A. F. Maconochie and 
L. J. Mountford, governors of the Sholapur District, and to 
Messrs. N. G. Chandorkar and S. B. Sardesai, officials in the same 
district, for inquiries made regarding the lives of Namdev and other 
saints of the Dakhan. 




father and mother, and probably their ancestors for 
some generations, possessed great devotional enthu- 

Outside the village of Narsi Bamani stood the 
temple of Keshiraj (Shiv), of whom Damasheti was 
a devout worshipper. He never omitted to pay 
a daily visit to the temple and make an offering to 
his god. Namdev's mother when pregnant used to 
request everybody she met to repeat the name of 
her favourite god. Namdev was born on Sunday 
the eleventh day of the light half of the month of 
Kartik in the Shaka year 1192, a. d. 1270. At the 
age of three years the young saint used to ejaculate 
the name of the local god of his devotion. At the 
age of five years he was sent to school, but he made 
no progress in learning. Whenever he found an 
opportunity, either in the absence of his teachers or 
otherwise, he set his schoolfellows singing songs to 
his favourite god, in which he joined both with 
voice and cymbal accompaniment. It is said that 
he loved God even from the day of his birth, and his 
divine love and devotion increased with his years. 

At the age of eight years Namdev was betrothed 
to Rajabai, daughter of Govind Sheti. By her he 
ultimately had four sons, Narayan, Mahadev, Govind, 
and Vithal, and one daughter named Limba Bai. 

His father finding that he made no progress in 
learning apprenticed him to his own trade. It very 
soon became manifest that Namdev paid no attention 
to practical business, but spent his time consorting 
with religious mendicants, visiting the temple of 
his god, and performing the devotions usual in such 
cases. It was then decided to put -him to commerce. 
To this he consented, but represented that he 
possessed no capital. This was procured from a 
friendly banker. When Namdev found himself in 
the possession of funds, he gave a great feast to 
Brahmans, which exhausted all his money. At this 
both his parents and the money-lender were greatly 



distressed. His mother bitterly reproached him for 
his recklessness and extravagance — 

' Was it for this I carried thee about for nine 
months ? Was this misery kept in store for my 
old age ? O why did I not rather remain a barren 
woman than give birth to such a son ? Art thou 
not ashamed of thyself ? People laugh at thee for 
thy madness. Have some respect for thy mother 
Look at my grey hairs. Think of the miseries of 
thine aged father. What wilt thou gain by this 
madness ? There are also other worshippers of 
Keshiraj. Why canst thou not act like them ? 
What merits wilt thou obtain from this god ? All 
who cared for him were ruined.' 

Namdev's mother, finding her remonstrances and 
objurgations useless, appealed to the priests of the 
temple to remonstrate with her son and lead him 
to a right understanding of his worldly position. 
From them, too, no hope was received of the youth's 
amendment. They urged in reply to her repre- 
sentations that she was a fortunate mother, and 
that the good deeds of her previous births had 
ripened, and she had obtained a saint for a son. 

One day when Namdev's father was absent, the 
son took the daily offering of the family to the 
temple. It consisted of milk, which the youth had 
just milked from his cow. He thought that the 
god would freely partake of the offering on which 
he had lavished so much care. The stony idol, 
however, would not vouchsafe to do so. Upon this 
Namdev began to cry, threw himself down at the 
god's feet and uttered passionate supplications. In 
due time the god relented and accepted the boy's 
offering. He celebrated the event in the following 
hymn in the Bhairo measure : — 

Nama having milked his brown cow took 

A cup of milk and a jug of water for the idol. 

' Drink milk and my mind will be at ease ; 

Otherwise my father will be angry.' 

C 2 


A golden cup filled with milk 
Nama took and placed before the idol — 
The saints alone abide in my heart — 
On seeing Nama the god smiled ; 

On giving milk to the idol the worshipper Nama went 

And God appeared unto him. 

With reference to this miracle the author of the 
Bhagat Mai, in a paroxysm of devotion, remarks, 
' Congratulations to God who loveth His saints, and 
is pleased with their devotion. Thou whom the 
Veds call Endless, and to attain whom Shiv and 
the other demigods performed every form of pen- 
ance, art so much in the power of the saints and 
their love, that Thou performest everything accord- 
ing to their desires.' 

It appears that Namdev.. on arriving at man's 
estate, for a time grew weary of saintship. He 
records of himself that through evil destiny he began 
to associate with dakaits or Indian highwaymen, 
and plunder travellers. He and his gang killed 
several Brahmans, pilgrims, and innocent men. His 
father and other elderly persons remonstrated with 
him, but he heeded not their censures. At last the 
Emperor dispatched a squadron of cavalry to arrest 
the offenders. They refused to submit, and in the 
skirmish which ensued eighty-four of the troopers 
were slain, whereupon the remainder decamped. 

Namdev possessed a large and excellent mare on 
which he used to scour the country and visit distant 
places. Whether as the result of habit or repen- 
tance, he made a vow, which he religiously kept, to 
behold daily the idol of Nagnath in the village of 
Aundhi, about sixteen miles to the east of Pan- 

There is another temple of Nagnath in the village 
of Vadval and thither went Namdev to behold 
the great saint Vishoba Khechar. Vishoba, in order 



to make a trial of Namdev, resolved to assume 
the appearance of a leper. He thought that in 
this way if Namdev's faith were not strong, he would 
incontinently run away. Namdev in his search for 
Vishoba went into the neighbouring temple. There 
he saw a leper lying on the ground resting his shod- 
den feet on a lingam, the emblem of Shiv. On 
beholding the insult to the idol, Namdev chid the 
leper and asked him to leave the sacred edifice. 
Vishoba replied that he was an old man who could 
not attend to nice formalities of worship, but 
Namdev might turn his feet in whatever direction 
he pleased. Upon this Namdev raised the old 
man's feet and turned them in a different direction. 
There, too, it is said, Namdev again saw a lingam 
under Vishoba' s feet. He was astonished, as well 
he might be, on beholding this extraordinary 
circumstance, and asked the leper where Vishoba 
was. The leper replied, ' I am Vishoba.' Namdev 
then asked how a man reputed to be a saint could be 
guilty of placing his feet on a lingam and thus 
outraging the god. Vishoba replied that he found 
no place which was not filled with God. Namdev 
bowed to him, and expressed a desire to become his 
disciple. Vishoba then proposed to Namdev to 
take him outside the temple. When Vishoba was 
deposited there, he said he would accept Namdev 
as a disciple, and bade him close his eyes. Namdev 
did so, and on opening them saw no longer a leper, 
but a priest in vigorous health and manly beauty. 

Namdev abode for several months with Vishoba 
Khechar and received instruction from him as re- 
corded in a work called Namdev Gatha, principally in 
the Marathi language, but containing also one hun- 
dred and ten Hindi stanzas from which Namdev's 
hymns in the Granth Sahib have been selected. 

On one occasion when Namdev went to behold his 
god in the temple he was not allowed to enter because 
a Brahman, who had brought cooked food to offer to 


the god, would not suffer persons of Namdev's 
degraded caste to stand under the same roof with 
him. Namdev while detained outside the temple 
saw approach a very needy low-caste woman with 
a child on her hip. The child was crying piti- 
fully for a morsel of the food brought by wealthy 
persons as offerings to the god. The mother tried 
to restrain the child's cries and longings. The child 
refused to be comforted and only cried and coveted 
the more. The woman then began to beat the 
child. Namdev's heart melted at the sight, and he 
remonstrated with the mother for her behaviour. 
She replied, ' The child is very hungry and wishes 
me to give her the god's food, which is impossible. 
I have nothing myself, I am totally without means. 
My husband was one of the eighty-four horsemen 
recently cut down by the inhuman dakaits. Being 
thus helpless myself, what can I give the child ? 
I only possess the bones in my body. Dost thou, 
by thy chiding and harsh words, desire me to feed 
her with them ? ' 

Her words pierced Namdev's heart, and he began 
to reflect how many families had been ruined through 
his reckless and lawless career. On leaving the 
temple precincts, he bestowed his mare and whatever 
clothes he could dispense with on the Brahmans, and, 
to use his own words, made a friend of repentance. 
He took up a knife, entered the temple in anguish, 
and began to pray to his god. ' O Shiv, O Mahadev, 
I have committed many crimes and shall have to 
suffer the torments of hell. How shall I find salva- 
tion ? ' In his agony of remorse, he thrust the 
knife into his head, upon which blood spurted from it 
and fell on the idol. The ministrants of the temple 
ran up, snatched the knife from his hand, tied him 
hand and foot, and threw him outside the edifice. 
A crowd gathered round him and began to revile 
and spurn him, not for his attempt at suicide, but 
for having defiled the god. 



When left alone, he thought he saw Nagnath in 
a vision, who thus addressed him : ' Namdev, thou 
hadst better proceed to Pandharpur at once. Its 
patron god, Vitthal, will purge thee of thy sins, and 
thou shalt not only obtain salvation, but renown, 
as one of God's saints in the world.' Namdev 
tied up the wound in his head and started for 
Pandharpur, in the company of pilgrims who were 
proceeding thither. On the way he was tormented 
physically by flies which sought to settle on his 
wound, and mentally by the curses and reproaches 
of his companions. 

Pundarik, who lived in the present district of 
Sholapur, was a saint celebrated for his devotion 
to his parents. It is said the god Krishan went with 
his cows and herdsmen all the way from Dwaraka 
on the margin of the Arabian Sea to behold the pos- 
sessor of such filial piety. Krishan left his belong- 
ings at Gopalpur on the margin of the Bhima river, 
and proceeded to the dwelling of Pundarik. Pun- 
darik by way of hospitality threw him a brick to 
stand on. The god accepted the offer in the hope of 
friendly converse with the saint, but the latter was 
so much engaged in the service of his parents that 
he had not leisure to speak to him. Krishan, dis- 
daining to return to Dwaraka without effecting his 
object, remained standing on the brick, and was 
named Vitthal. 1 

Long afterwards the place was the scene of the 
depredations of a famous robber. The renowned 
Emperor Salivahan, whose capital was at Paithan, 
south of Aurangabad, and who gave his name to an 

1 ' The name of a much worshipped god at Pandharpur. He is 
much resorted to by the low and mean and despised of all descrip- 
tions. Hence a descriptive derivation has been invented for his 
name, viz. vi, from vit, knowledge or understanding, th, cipher, i.e. 
privation, destitution, and / for lat, he takes. Thus vit, th, and / form 
Vitthal, and acquire the sense Receiver of the ignorant and the destitute 
of understanding.' — Molesworth's Marathi Dictionary. 


era which preceded the Christian by fifty-seven 
years, sent in the fifth year of his reign an officer 
to rid the land of the freebooter. The officer found 
the god still standing in the same posture as when he 
had been last seen by Pundarik. The place was 
named Pundarikpur — shortened into Pandharpur — 
in memory of the saint and it gradually rose to 
considerable importance and became the most im- 
portant place of worship in Maharashtar. 1 

The roof of Namdev's hut was blown away by 
a storm while the inmates were asleep. A devout 
friend whom Namdev recognized as God incarnate 
at once proceeded to re-roof the building. This 
incident was versified by Namdev in the Sorath 
measure as follows : — 

A near neighbour asked Nama, ' By whom didst thou 
have this hut rebuilt ? 

' If thou show me the carpenter, I will pay him twice the 
wages thou didst.' 

' 0 my sister, my Carpenter cannot be given thee ; 

Lo ! my Carpenter pervadeth all things ; 

My Carpenter is the Support of the soul. 

If any one want such a hut to be built, the Carpenter 
will require love for His wages. 

When man breaketh with his family and all his friends, 
then the Carpenter of His own accord cometh to him. 

I cannot describe such a Carpenter ; He is contained in 
everything and in every place. 

As when a dumb man tasteth the great flavour of nectar, 
if thou ask him, he cannot describe it. 

Hear the praises of the Carpenter, my sister — He restrained 
the ocean and fixed Dhru as the polar star. 

Nama's Lord recovered Sita, and bestowed Lanka on 
Babhikhan.' 2 

1 Maharashtar, the country of the Marathas, bounded on the north 
by the Narbada river, on the south and east by the Karnatic and 
Telinga, and on the west by the ocean. 

2 Babhikhan (Vibhishan), brother of the wicked Rawan, was granted 
Rawan's kingdom by Ram Chandar. 



The house in which Namdev and his family lived 
and in which in early years he plied his trade, is 
pointed out to the visitor. It has been greatly 
enlarged and modified since the saint made it his 
residence. The roof of the large hall is now sup- 
ported by pillars. It is said that Namdev buried 
many of his voluminous works within the house, 
and forbade their exhumation under a solemn 

A girl called Janabai went with her parents to 
visit the temple of Pandharpur. She there obtained 
such an access of devotion that she refused to re- 
turn home, and her parents returned without her. 
Namdev happened to see her, and, taking an 
interest in her, made inquiries regarding her parents 
and place of residence. She replied that she had 
no parents but God, and no residence save His 
temple at Pandharpur. Namdev was moved to take 
compassion on her, and entrusted her to his mother. 
Janabai developed poetical talents, and several of 
her compositions are extant. She has given some 
particulars of Namdev's life. 1 

The Hindus desired to test the reality of Namdev's 
fast on the eleventh days of the light and dark 
halves of the month. They sent him a lean Brah- 
man who asked for some food. Namdev refused 
as it was the eleventh day. He was fasting himself, 
and he thought others ought to fast also. The 
pretended Brahman said that he was at his last 
gasp through hunger. ' Bring me something at 
once.' In short, such was the insistence of the 
Brahman in asking and of Namdev in refusing, 
that a serious difference resulted between them. 
Several people assembled on hearing the uproar, 
and advised Namdev to give something from his 
kitchen for the sake of peace and dismiss the Brah- 

1 In the courtyard of Namdev's house is a miniature statue of 
the lady wearing an ample crinoline. She is reverenced as a saint 
both by inhabitants and pilgrims. 


man. Namdev refused, as he deemed fasting on 
the eleventh day the most important form of devo- 
tion. The Brahman insisted on not taking his 
departure till he had received something to eat. 
He accordingly fell down at Namdev's door, and 
pretended to die of hunger the same evening. 

Persons unacquainted with the strict rules for the 
eleventh day's fast began to charge Namdev with 
the heinous crime of having caused a Brahman's 
death. Namdev neither feared nor heeded their 
censure. He prepared a funeral pyre, and seating 
himself on it beside the Brahman, ordered it to be 
lighted. The Brahman had no wish to immolate 
himself and promptly rose from the pyre and de- 
camped. Thus was Namdev rescued from the 
death which he had courted. The bystanders, on 
seeing what had occurred, became believers, and 
accepted as a fact that Namdev was under the 
special protection of heaven. 

A Brahman called Parisa Bhagwat lived in Pan- 
dharpur. He had a philosopher's stone — paras — the 
word from which his name was apparently derived. 
His wife Kamaljaone day went to the adjacent Bhima 
river and there met Raj abai, Namdev's wife. The lat- 
ter complained that her husband Namdev would do 
no work, and that in consequence the family was in 
very straightened circumstances. Kamalja said she 
possessed a philosopher's stone which she would 
lend her. It would convert everything into gold, 
and she would no longer be indigent. Raj abai, it is 
said, took the philosopher's stone and produced 
much gold by its agency. When Namdev heard of 
this, he took the stone and threw it into the river. 
When Kamalja remonstrated with him, he dived 
into the water and brought up two handfuls of 
gravel, which he threw in front of her. On looking 
she fancied that every bit of the gravel was a philo- 
sopher's stone. On this she left her home and became 
a disciple of Namdev. 



Gyandev, 1 a disciple of Vishoba Khechar, hearing 
of the fame of Namdev, went to Pandharpur to 
visit him. Gyandev was a Vedantist and pantheistic 
philosopher who relied on knowledge, while Namdev 
was thoroughly convinced of the superiority of de- 
votion or spiritual love to one God. The Brahmans 
deem Vedantism more orthodox as having been 
originally propounded in works which they accept as 
divine revelation. When a man becomes a Vedantist, 
he rejects religious observances and believes himself 
saved during life. Namdev now totally repudiated 
this belief. At the same time there was nothing to 
hinder a Pantheist from consorting with a monotheist, 
and both saints became fast friends ; Gyandev pro- 
posed to him that they should go together to visit 
holy places. Namdev replied that he was in the hands 
of Vitthal, and his permission must first be obtained. 
This preliminary having been arranged, Namdev 
fainted at the thought of leaving his god. Gyandev 
tried to console him, and said that as he was an in- 
carnation of Vitthal, the god could have no cause 
for regret. 

In the course of their conversation Gyandev 
asked him to indicate the way of devotion, and 
explain how man could make Vitthal his own. 
Namdev replied, ' The strength of contempt of the 
world should be in the body as an unchanging 
companion. Man should lay aside the difference 
between himself and others, and feel no anxiety for 
things of this world.' 

The object of the saints was most probably rather 
a thirst for information than a desire to make a 
religious pilgrimage. Had the latter been their 
object, they would have gone first to Banaras, and 
endeavoured to obtain the hall-mark of orthodoxy 
and the favour of the great Hindu priests who 
resided there. The two saints set out from Pan- 

1 Jnyandev is the correct spelling, but on account of the difficulty of 
pronunciation the saint is known in Northern India as Gyandev. 


dharpur for Hastinapur, the name by which Dihli was 
then known. The Emperor Muhammad bin Tughlak 
hearing of Namdev's influence with the people, and 
suspecting that it would lead to an insurrection, 
resolved to arrest his career. The following hymn 
in the Bhairo measure gives the result : — 

The emperor said, 4 Ho, you Nama, 

Let me see the deeds of your God.' 

The emperor had Nama arrested — 

' Let me see your God Vitthal ; 

Restore to life this slaughtered cow, 

Otherwise I will strike off thy head on the spot.' 

4 Your majesty, how can that be ? 

No man can reanimate what is slaughtered. 

All I could do would be of no avail ; 

What God doeth taketh place.' 

The emperor fell into a passion, 

And set a huge elephant at Nama. 

Nama's mother began to cry — 

'Why dost thou not abandon the God of the Hindus 
and worship the God of the Musalmans ? ' 
Namdev : ' I am not thy son, nor art thou my mother ; 
Even though I perish, I will sing God's praises.' 
The elephant struck him with his trunk, 
But Nama was saved by the protection of God. 
The king said, 4 The Qazis and the Mullas salute me, 
But this Hindu trampleth on mine honour.' 
The Hindus said, ' O king, hear our prayer ; 
Take Nama's weight in gold.' 
4 If I take a bribe I shall go to hell ; 
Shall I amass wealth by abandoning my faith ? ' 
While Nama's feet were being chained 
He sang the praises of God and beat time with his hands. 
The Ganges and the Jamna may flow backwards, 
But Nama will repeat God's name. 
When seven gharis were heard to strike, 1 

1 Namdev got orders from the Emperor to restore the cow within 
a pahar or watch of three hours or suffer death. When seven of the 



The Lord of the three worlds had not yet arrived. 
God afterwards came mounted on His garur, 
Which beat the air with its wings. 1 
He took compassion on His saint, 
And came mounted on His garur, 

' Say but the word and I will turn the earth on its side ; 

Say but the word and I will upturn it altogether. 2 

Say but the word and I will restore the dead cow to life, 

So that every one may behold and be convinced.' 

Nama said, ' Spancel the cow '. 3 

They put the calf to her and milked her. 

When the pitcher was filled with the milk the cow gave, 

Nama took and placed it before the emperor, 

And the time of trouble came on him. 

He implored Namdev through the Qazis and the Mullas — 

' Pardon me, O Hindu, I am thy cow.' 

Nama said, ' Hear, O monarch, 

Hath this credential been exhibited by me ? 

The object of this miracle is 

That thou, 0 emperor, shouldst walk in the paths of 
truth and humility — 
Namdev, God is contained in everything.' 
The Hindus went in procession to Nama, 
And said, ' If the cow had not been restored to life, 
People would have lost faith in thee.' 
The fame of Namdev remained in the world ; 
He took saints with him to salvation. 
All trouble and sorrow befell the revilers — 
Between Nama and God there is no difference. 

eight gharis of the pahar had elapsed and the cow was not reanimated, 
Namdev felt anxious ; but when the eighth ghari was struck, it is said 
God presented Himself and wrought this miracle to preserve His saint 
from the Emperor's wrath. 

1 Also translated — When the end of the watch had struck, God 
came riding on His garur. Vide p. 81, n. 1, infra. 

2 Also translated — (a) I will take thee with Me on high ; (l>) I will 
take the earth and put it in the sky. 

3 Sel masel. The gyanis think that these words were intended as an 
anagram of Salfm Shah, but Namdev lived long prior to that monarch. 
The Emperor at the time was certainly Muhammad bin Tughlak. 


Namdev continued to preach that God and his idol 
were one, as holy water and ordinary water have 
the same appearance, as a lamp and its light, as 
a flower and its fragrance, as the sun and its rays, 
as the cloud and water, as sweetmeats and their 
taste, as a musical instrument and its melody, as an 
object and its shadow are all inseparable. His 
teaching again involved Namdev in serious difficulty, 
and he had to hastily retreat to save himself from 
the indignation and violence of the Muhammadans. 

Namdev and Gyandev next proceeded to Kashi 
(Banaras), where they met the renowned Sanskrit 
scholars of the age. Thence they travelled to 
Priyag. Thence they went to Gaya, where Budha 
in days long past performed his heroic penance 
and renunciation. Thence the two saints pro- 
ceeded to Ajudhia, the birthplace of the god Ram 
Chandar. They then went to Mathura, the birth- 
place of the god Sri Krishan, thence to Gokal and 
Bindraban, thence to Jagannath, the temple of the 
lord of the world, on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. 
From there they made the long journey to Dwaraka 
by the shore of the Arabian Sea, the scene of Krishan's 
retreat from the battle in which he was defeated by 
King Jarasandh. 

The two saints having thus proceeded to the utmost 
limit of India resolved to begin their homeward 
journey, and in due time reached Marwar. They 
tarried for a night in Kolad, probably the modern 
Koilath near Bikaner. Here occurred an incident 
which is related by the Marathi chronicler. Namdev 
and Gyandev both felt thirsty. There was a well 
in the neighbourhood, but it was very deep, and 
they had not the means of drawing water. It is 
said that Gyandev by the aid of jog science assumed 
a minute body, descended into the well, and quenched 
his thirst. He then challenged Namdev either to 
assume a minute body and descend into the well 
or drink water from his hands. Namdev, who was 



no believer in the efficacy of jog, declined the 
challenge, and said that if his god Vishoba were 
there, he would supply him with water. Upon this, 
it is said, the well filled to the brim with sweet 
water, and Namdev's desires were in every way 

Namdev and Gyandev then departed for Rame- 
shwar in the extreme south of India, memorable as 
the place whence Ram Chandar set out on his 
expedition to Ceylon. After seeing the temple of 
Oamkar the two saints proceeded to Kalapdhara and 
thence to Dhara. In the latter place they visited 
the temple of Audhiya Nagnath. When Namdev 
arrived at the temple, he began to sing hymns with 
a loud voice. This attracted a crowd of people, 
so that the Brahman ministrants could not gain 
entrance without suffering the pollution of being 
touched by men of lower caste, deemed unworthy 
of salvation. Upon this they asked Namdev to 
cease singing and retire to a spot at the rear of the 
temple where he might continue his minstrelsy if 
he chose. Namdev told them that in God's temple 
there were no higher or lower castes, and that no 
one's touch could soil those who performed heartfelt 
worship. The Brahmans were not convinced ; they 
struck Namdev, deprived him of his cymbals, and 
insisted that he should leave the temple. He went 
and sat down behind it and thus addressed God, 
' I have no asylum but in Thee, and I want nothing. 
If Thou show Thyself to others and not to me, 
lend Thine ear at least to my songs.' He then 
began to sing verses full of self-reproach and abase- 

It is said that God, on hearing Namdev's tuneful 
worship, was moved with kindness and compassion, 
and caused the temple to turn round, so that the 
door remained opposite His saint. Namdev has 
versified the incident in the following hymn in the 
Rag Malar : — 


I went, O Lord, with laughter and gladness to Thy temple, 
But while Nama was worshipping, the Brahmans forced 
him away. 

A lowly caste is mine, O King of the Yadav, 1 why was 
I born a calico-printer ? 
I took up my blanket, went back, 
And sat behind the temple. 
As Nama repeated the praises of God 
The temple turned towards His saint. 

Namdev returned to the subject in the following 
hymn in the Bhairo measure : — 

Forget me not, forget me not, 
Forget me not, 0 God ! 

Those misled Brahmans of the temple were all furious 
with me ; 

Calling me a Sudar they beat me and turned me out ; 
what shall I do, Father Vitthal ? 

If Thou give me salvation when I am dead, nobody will 
be aware of it ; save me now. 2 

If these pandits call me low, then, O God, Thine honour 
will be in the background. 

Thou who art called the compassionate and the merciful, 
altogether unrivalled is Thine arm — 

God turned round the front of the temple towards Nama, 
and its back towards the pandits. 

From Audhiya Nagnath the party proceeded to 
Paithan, Salivahan's capital, on the margin of the 
Godavari in the present state of Haidarabad, and 
thence to Deogiri, once the capital of the Maratha 
kingdom, in the vicinity of the famous caves of 
Ellora, where they met Sadhna, who hospitably 
entertained them, and then joined them in their 
peregrinations. They visited several places in the 

1 That is, Krishan. Namdev in the transition stage of his reforma- 
tion used the word or expression Yadav Raia for God. 

2 The meaning of the saint's prayer to God is — ' Assist me in this 
world so that men may know I am under Thy protection.' 



neighbourhood of Nasik, and thence proceeded to 
Junagarh in the province of Kathiawar. 1 

No very important incidents are recorded relating 
to the saints' homeward journey. On arriving at 
Pandharpur, Namdev applied himself to the com- 
position of his abhangs. 2 His fame rapidly extended 
and his compositions flew from mouth to mouth. 
Many accepted the incidents related in them, but 
others entertained doubts regarding Namdev's ac- 
curacy. On being pressed to explain the miracles 
he recorded and give a clear reply as to whether 
he himself believed in them, he asked his inter- 
rogator if he had ever heard bells ringing in his ears, 
and if the ringing were real or imaginary. The inter- 
rogator replied that he had heard ringing in his 
ears but no material bells were actually ringing. 
Namdev practically admitted that his record of 
miracles was the result of similar deception and of 
excessive and childlike faith. He believed in the 
miracles himself, and gave poetical expression to his 
belief as his vivid imagination prompted him. 

Namdev once met an old friend who questioned 
him on his spiritual progress. Namdev unbosomed 
himself and described his mission to Vadval. His 
friend wondered that a man from whose hands 
his god had taken food, could put himself under 
a human guru inferior beyond all comparison to 
the much worshipped and much beloved Vitthal. 
Namdev replied as follows : ' Gods made of stone 
never speak. How can they heal worldly sorrows ? 
People suppose that idols of stone are God, but He 
is a real divinity and altogether different. If gods 
of stone can fulfil man's desires why should he suffer 
sorrow and affliction ? They who worship gods of 

1 We have endeavoured to follow the saints' itinerary as given in 
the Lives of Indian Saints, but it is possible that it will afterwards be 
re-arranged, should Namdev's followers think it necessary. The 
geographical difficulties of the present itinerary are obvious. 

1 Hymns principally in the Marathi language. 



stone are absolute idiots. Both they who preach and 
they who believe that gods of stone hold converse 
with saints have perverted intellects. They who 
call such gods great beings and style their priests 
saints are really degraded creatures unworthy of 
credence. Let not their words enter thine ears. 
How can men be saved who cause gods to be carved 
out of stone, and reverently regard them during the 
years of their mortal lives ? Hast thou never 
reflected on this ? Thou hast no gods except water 
and stones. Go visit all the places of pilgrimage 
small and great and see for thyself. I have learned 
in Vadval that God is everywhere contained. 
Khechar conferred the favour on me of showing 
me God in my own heart.' 

The Marathi chronicles show that Namdev died 
on the thirteenth day of the dark half of the month 
Asu, a.d. 1350, at the age of eighty years, and that 
he was buried in Pandharpur, where his head, 
moulded in brass on the lower step of the temple 
of Vishoba, is now worshipped by the populace. 
He has left several abhangs in which he prayed 
Shri Vitthal to give him a last resting-place at his 
feet. He was accordingly buried at the entrance of 
the temple of Vishoba under the lowest step of the 
stairs by which pilgrims ascend. He desired that 
his head should be trodden on by holy men and 
that he should acquire spiritual advantage from the 
dust of their feet. The idea is that when a man 
prostrates himself at the foot of a saint the dust of 
the saint's feet purifies him. The climax of beatitude 
is attained when the dust of the soles of the saint's 
feet falls on the worshipper's head. 

Opposite Namdev's grave was buried one Chokhya, 
a Mahar of the lowest grade of Sudars — a grade so 
socially spurned that they might not even be touched 
by the higher classes. They were not allowed even 
in the time of Bajirao the last Peshwa (1796-1817) 
to travel by the same road as Brahmans, and it is 



believed that they are still not allowed to do so in 
certain places in Southern India. To the right of 
the visitor is seen a representation of Ganesh the 
elephant-headed god of learning, carved in relief out 
of a rock and painted red. Near Ganesh is a shape- 
less block of stone said to represent Hanuman the 
monkey-god and ally of Ram Chandar in his expe- 
dition to Ceylon. 

The temple extends far inwards and contains 
several apartments supported by pillars. Through 
these the pilgrims pass in batches controlled by 
police officials. Over the apartments are vent holes 
to prevent the pilgrims from being suffocated as 
they pass in large numbers. From the roof of the 
temple is seen a chapel sacred to Rukmani the 
consort of Krishan, at which principally women 
worship. The temple was called Raul by Bhagat 
Namdev. It now contains many and various jewels 
of great value, the offerings of pious pilgrims for 
the decoration and glory of Vishoba. In the neck- 
laces are seen gold coins of Spain, Portugal, and 
other European countries. 1 

All Namdev's compositions bear convincing testi- 
mony to the love he bore his favourite deity. 
Accordingly, the local tradition that he spent his 
old age at Pandharpur in the immediate vicinity 
of Vishoba's temple, and that he was buried there 
must be implicitly accepted. 

The Sikhs and Panjabi followers of Namdev say 
that he was cremated at Ghuman in the Gurdaspur 
district of the Panjab. This belief is founded on 
legends current in the north of India and the records 
at a shrine bearing the saint's name in Ghuman, but 
it is resolutely denied by his followers in Pandharpur, 
who assert that, owing to the fame of his sanctity, 
possession of his remains was claimed by many 

1 It is satisfactory to find that the Bombay government allows the 
district British officials to be ex-officio guardians of the properties of 
the temple. 

D 2 


provinces of India in the same way as the god 
Ram was claimed by the Budhists as one of their 

The following account of Namdev in Nabhaji's 
Bhagat Mai is accepted by his followers in the Panjab, 
though it probably refers to a different person who 
assumed his name. Bamdev was a calico-printer of 
Gopalpura near Pandharpur. He had a daughter, 
a virgin widow, whom he very much loved. Bamdev 
was himself a God-fearing man. When his daughter 
attained the age of twelve years, he instructed her 
to serve and worship God under the name of Vit- 
thalnath, informing her at the same time that, by 
hearty love and devotion to Him, all her wishes 
should be fulfilled. She then applied herself with 
such zeal to the worship of God that in a short 
time, it is said, He even gratified her desire for 
a son, and she became pregnant. This became 
known all over the city, and to the whole tribe 
Wherever dispersed. Evil persons rejoiced at the 
opportunity afforded them of defaming Bamdev. 
The matter eventually came to his ears, and he 
asked his daughter to explain her lapse of virtue. 
She replied, ' Thou toldest me that by hearty love 
and devotion to God, He would satisfy all my wishes 
and desires. Whatever hath occurred hath been 
the work of God.' Bamdev on hearing this was so 
overjoyed that he could hardly contain himself. 
When in due time a son was born to his daughter, 
he gave all he had in alms as a thanksgiving for the 
happy event. He called the child Namdev, and 
loved him more than his own life. 

To remove the objections of evil and slanderous 
people to the child's birth the Purans and other 
sacred books were consulted, and the words of 
God in the second chapter of the Bhagawat were 
explained to the people. There God says, that if 
a man worship Him with constant love He will 
fulfil his desires whether for temporal or spiritual 



objects. In the eleventh chapter of the Bhagawat 
it is written, that God bestoweth even salvation 
on His saints, so why not the fulfilment of their 
worldly desires ? It would be nothing strange if 
He fulfilled the desires of a saint of His who prayed 
to Him with love. 

There used to be a vigil held in Namdev's house on 
the eleventh night of the light and dark halves of 
the month. On one occasion on a dark night the 
assembled saints were thirsty, but there was no 
water for them to drink. No one would go to 
draw from the adjacent well, which was haunted. 
Namdev himself took a pitcher and proceeded 
thither with the object of satisfying his guests. 
A terrible and frightful ghost appeared to him. 
For the object of exorcism Namdev extemporized 
a stanza which he sang to the accompaniment of 
cymbals. The first lines of the stanza are as 
follows : — 

My long-legg'd Sir, I see thy form arise, 

Thy feet on earth, thy forehead in the skies. 

Thine arms are long as jojans 1 to mine eyes. 

It is said that God revealed Himself in the ghost, 
and the latter through the favour of Namdev was 
translated to heaven. 2 

The following parable is given by some of Namdev's 
biographers. There was a banker whose riches were 
so great that he had himself weighed with gold 
which he distributed among his poor fellow citizens. 
He sent for Namdev at somebody's suggestion. Nam- 
dev twice sent him word that he wanted nothing, 
but on the third invitation decided on going to meet 
him. The banker said that he had distributed 
a large amount of money through the city, and 
asked Namdev also to take some, so that he him- 

1 A jojan is four kos. A kos is a linear measure varying in different 
parts of India from one mile and a quarter to two miles. 

2 Nabhaji's Bhagdt Mai 


self might reap some advantage from the bene- 
faction. Namdev replied, * Why should I refuse 
anything that would be for thy benefit ? ' At the 
same time he reflected that when the banker aban- 
doned the pride of wealth, it would be well for him. 
He therefore wrote the letter R, being half of God's 
name, 1 on a sprig of sweet basil, and told the banker 
to weigh gold against it. The banker asked if he 
were laughing at him, and said, 'Having regard 
for thy holiness and kindness in visiting me, ask for 
what thou desirest.' Namdev replied that laughter 
and pleasantry were out of place. He only required 
gold of the weight of the sprig of basil. Upon this 
the banker sent for small scales, and began to 
weigh the basil with a little gold. The gold was not 
sufficient to weigh down the sprig. The banker 
sent for larger scales, and finding the sprig weighed 
more than five or seven sers, put in six or seven 
mans of gold, but still the scale with the basil 
remained on the ground, while the scale with the 
gold kicked the beam. He then borrowed more 
gold from his tribesmen, but all would not suffice 
to lift the basil. At this the banker and his de- 
pendants were sore distressed. Namdev then 
saw that the banker had parted with his pride of 
wealth, but that he was still proud of the good acts 
he had done during his life, and it was necessary 
to dispel that pride also. Namdev told him to 
add the offering of the good acts of his life, and 
perhaps the scale with the sprig of basil would rise. 
The banker did so, but still the scale refused to 
move. The banker's good acts possessed no weight. 
Upon this he told Namdev to take away all the gold. 
Namdev inquired what use it would be to him. 
He wanted the wealth of God's service, to whom 
all the deities and the powers of both worlds were 
subservient. The banker grew ashamed and in- 
spired with faith became a saint of God. 

1 Ram. The vowel is not counted a letter. 

SIKH VI p. 39 



The following are given as specimens of the 
preaching of Namdev. If a man greet another 
outwardly, and inwardly remember his demerits, he 
doeth not well. It is like eating a fly in sweets. 
The mind is made steady by the knowledge that 
God is all-pervading. That is the true form of 
meditation. As loose women, though in the arms 
of their husbands, think of their lovers, as the 
chatrik while resting on the earth thinketh of the 
clouds which will give it acceptable rain-drops, as 
the lotuses in the lake think of the sun, as a cow 
while grazing in the field thinketh of her calf, as 
a miser while walking in the streets thinketh of his 
wealth, as a goldsmith while making ornaments 
thinketh of stealing the gold given him for the 
purpose, as the chakor thinketh of the moonlight, 
as a woman returning from a well thinketh of her 
pitcher while conversing with her friends, as the 
bee while flitting in the glade thinketh of the flower, 
so should man while following the ways of the 
world think of God in his heart. 

Namdev visited the present district of Gurdaspur 
in the Panjab when fifty-five years of age. He first 
went to Bhattewal and dwelt beside a tank there, 
which is called Namiana in memory of him. He 
had two disciples — Ladha and Jalla, a carpenter — 
who settled down with followers of their own in 
the villages of Sukhowal and Dhariwal respectively. 
Namdev removed from Bhattewal, and took up his 
abode near another tank in a lonely forest, where he 
hoped for more leisure for prayer and meditation 
on God. His presence there soon attracted culti- 
vators, and the village of Ghuman gradually sprang 
up over the spot where he is supposed to have been 
cremated. A fine domed building was erected to 
his memory by Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia ; and 
the tank was repaired by Mai Sada Kaur, the mother- 
in-law of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Since then the 
yearly religious fair at the saint's shrine on the 


2nd of Magh — about the 13th of January — has 
assumed considerable proportions. His followers in 
the Gurdaspur district are of the same caste and 
occupation as himself, reverence the Granth Sahib, 
and in many respects resemble the Sikhs in their 
usages. 1 

The following hymns of Namdev are found in the 
Granth Sahib. They belong to three periods of his 
life — boyhood when he was an idolater, manhood 
when he was emancipating himself from Hindu 
superstitions, and old age when his hymns became 
conformable to the ideas of religious reformers at 
the time, and to the subsequent teaching of the 
Sikh Gurus. It is on account of his later and more 
matured opinions that his writings have been in- 
corporated in the sacred book of the Sikhs. 


The saving influence of God's name. 

0 God, Thou didst cause stones to float ; 2 

Why should not man float over by repeating Thy name ? 
Thou didst save the courtesan, the shapeless hunchback, 
the hunstman, and Ajamal. 

1 Settlement report of the Gurdaspur district by Sir L. W. Dane, 
now Lieutenant-governor of the Panjab. Lt.-Col. M. W. Douglas also 
has favoured us with some notes on Namdev. 

2 Ram Chandar, when he went to war with Rawan, is said to have 
built a bridge from the mainland of India to Ceylon j and this was 
effected by causing its rocky materials to float on the surface of the 
water. It is supposed that the word Ram (God) was impressed on 
every stone, and that it was thus made to float on the ocean. In the 
same way God can cause men to swim safely across to the abode of 
bliss. The several persons mentioned — outcasts and sinners — 
succeeded independently of their birth and calling : and their salvation 
was effected by repeating the name of God and offering Him suitable 



Even the murderer who shot Krishan in the foot was 
saved — 

I am a sacrifice to those who utter God's name — 
Bidur, the son of a handmaiden, Sudama, and Ugarsen, 1 

who obtained regal state ; 
Men without devotion, without penance, without family 

and without good works, were saved by Nama's Lord. 


The omnipresence of God. In the Hindu system 
there is no teleological purpose assigned for the 
creation of the world. It is the sport of Maya who 
proceeded from God. Maya still practises every art 
to bewitch and deceive mankind. Namdev's creed 
is the unity of God, who is contained in everything 
and fills all creation. 


There is one God of various manifestations contained in 
and filling everything ; whithersoever I look there is He. 

Maya's variegated picture hath so bewitched the world, 
that few know God. 

Everything is God, everything is God, there is nothing 
but God. 

One string holdeth hundreds and thousands of beads ; 
God is the warp and woof. 

Waves and foam and bubbles cannot be distinct from 

This illusion, the world, is the play of the Supreme God ; 
on reflection thou shall not find it different from Him. 

Fleeting phantoms, illusions of dreams man deemeth real 

My guru instilled into me right ideas, and when I awoke 
to reason my mind accepted them. 

Saith Namdev, behold the creation of God, and reflect 
on it in thy mind ; 

1 Ugarsen was father of Raja Kans, Krishan's uncle, who sought to 
kill him in his childhood lest he might usurp his kingdom. Instead 
of that Krishan killed Kans, and gave the kingdom to his father, 


In every heart and in all things uninterruptedly there is 
only the one God. 

The futility of idolatry. 


If I bring a pitcher and fill it with water to bathe the 

Forty-two lakhs 1 of animal species are in the water ; 
God is contained in them ; why should I bathe Him ? 

Wherever I go there God is contained ; 

God supremely happy ever sporteth. 

If I bring flowers and weave a garland to worship the 

The bee hath first smelled the flowers ; God is contained 
in the bee ; why should I weave Him a garland ? 

If I bring milk and cook it with khir 2 to feed the idol, 

The calf hath first defiled the milk by tasting it ; God is 
contained in the calf ; why should I feed Him ? 

In this world is God ; in the next world is God ; there 
is no part of the world without Him. 

Thou art, O God, in every place ; Nama representeth, 
Thou fillest the whole earth. 

Namdev had renounced his secular duties, and it 
was represented to him that he ought to embrace 
them again. He here gives substitutes for the tools 
of his trade : — 


My heart is a yard measure ; my tongue a shears. 
With it I measure and cut off Death's noose. 3 
What care I for caste ? What care I for lineage ? 
I repeat the name of God day and night ; 

1 Of the eighty-four lakhs of animal species in the world, half are 
supposed to be on land and half in water. 

2 Khir is the Sanskrit kshir, milk, but the word in later litera- 
ture generally means rice boiled in milk and sugar. 

3 The god of death is supposed to throw nooses to ensnare mortals. 
He does not mow them down like Death in European mythology. 



I dye what ought to be dyed, 1 and I sew what ought to 
be sewed. 2 

I cannot live for a ghari without God's name : 
I perform worship and sing God's praises ; 
During the eight watches of the day I meditate on my 

My needle is of gold, my thread of silver 3 — 
Nama's soul is attached to God. 

The following hymn was addressed to a reputed 
holy man who had stolen a merchant's money, and 
falsely imputed the offence to Namdev. The mer- 
chant had gone to bathe, and while doing so the 
hypocrite seated in a religious attitude stole his 
purse. The merchant missed it on returning. He 
could not think of attributing the theft to the man 
in the religious garb, so he charged Namdev with it. 
The merchant would not accept Namdev's denial, 
and had him flogged. While Namdev was being 
punished a storm arose which lifted the cloth on 
which the reputed holy man sat. The missing purse 
was then found under the cloth. Upon that Namdev 
addressed the following verses to the hypocrite : — 


The serpent casteth its slough, but not its poison : 
Since thy heart is not pure, 

Why perform mock meditation and repetition of God's 
name ? 

Thou art as the crane watching for fish in the water. 
The man who eateth the food of lions, 4 
Is called the god of thieves. 

1 I steep my mind in God's name. 

2 By meditation I unite my soul with God as the needle joins two 
pieces of cloth. 

3 In this line the golden needle represents the guru's instruction ; 
the silver thread the pure heart in which it is received. 

4 That is, who lives on plunder. 


Nama's Lord hath settled the quarrel ; 
Drink God's elixir, 1 O double-faced one 

Devotion to God is sufficient for human happiness. 


If thou see the Supreme God, thou shalt have no other 
desire ; 

If thou think of the worship of God, thou shalt keep thy 
mind free from care. 

0 my soul, how shalt thou cross over the world's ocean 
filled with the water of evil passions ? 

0 my soul, thou hast been led astray on seeing the deceit- 
ful world. 

A calico-printer's 2 house gave me birth, yet I became 
saturated with the guru's instruction, 

Through the favour of holy men Nama hath met God. 


Namdev worships the true God and is prepared to 
accept whatever He sends. 


If Thou give me an empire, what glory shall it be to me ? 
If Thou cause me to beg, how shall it degrade me ? 
Worship God, O my soul, and thou shalt obtain the dignity 
of salvation, 

And no more transmigration shall await thee. 

0 God, Thou didst create all men and lead them astray 
in error : 

He to whom Thou givest understanding knoweth Thee. 
When I meet the true guru, my doubts shall depart. 
Whom shall I then worship ? none other would be seen 
but Thee. 

One stone is adored, 

1 That is, turn thine attention to God. 

2 Chlnpa is a tradesman who prints calico, sews it, and washes it. 
Hence Namdev is described by some as a washeiman, by others as 
a tailor, and by others again as a calico-printer. 



Another 1 is trodden under foot : 

If one is a god, the other is also a god — 

Saith Namdev, I worship the true God. 

God's presence is felt though He cannot be 


He who hath no trace of impurity, who is beyond im- 
purity, and who is perfumed as with sandal hath taken 
His seat in my heart. 
No one saw Him coming ; who knoweth Him, O sister ? 
Who can describe, who can understand the All-pervading 
and Unknowable ? 

As the trace of a bird is not perceived in the sky, 
As the path of a fish is not seen in the water, 
As a vessel is not filled with the mirage-water of the sky, 
Such is God, Nama's Lord, in whom these three qualities 
are blended ; 2 His coming or going is not seen. 


Namdev advises to accept divine instruction so 
that man may be contented and happy. 


When I sing of God, then I behold Him ; 
Then I, His slave, obtain contentment. 
Accept divine instruction, O man ; the true guru shall 
cause thee to meet God. 
Where the heavenly light shineth, 
There playeth spontaneous music. 
' God's 3 light is all-pervading ' — 

1 The stone or stones on which worshippers tread as they enter 

2 That is, God exists though no trace of Him is seen. 

3 Joti, the luminous One, whose light is everywhere diffused. 
Joti jot samani. This expression is an ordinary Sikh idiom meaning 
that the light of the soul is blended with the light of God, and is 
used on the occasion of the death of Gurus. The whole hymn is in 
praise of celestial light. 


By the guru's favour I know that. 

In the chamber of the heart are jewels 1 

Which glitter there like lightning. 

God is near, not distant, 

And His Spirit completely filleth mine. 

Where the inextinguishable sun of God's word shineth, 

There earthly lamps grow pale : 

Through the guru's favour I have known this. 

God's slave Nama hath been easily absorbed in Him. 

The whole of the following hymn relates to the 
Jog philosophy and the exaltation of mind pro- 
duced by its practice : — 

III 2 

Without covering it with leather the drum of the brain 
playeth ; 

Without waiting for the month of Sawan the thunder 

And it raineth without clouds. 

If any one consider the real state of things, 

I have met my dear Lord. 

By meeting Him my body hath become perfect ; 3 
Having touched the philosopher's stone I have become 

In word and thought I have strung the gems of God's 

I feel real love for God, my doubts are dispelled : 
On questioning the guru my mind is satisfied. 
As the pitcher is filled with water, 
I know that the world is filled with the one God. 
When the disciple's mind accepted the guru, 
The slave Nama recognized God. 

However great man may be, he should reflect that 
death is his fate at last. 

1 Virtues. 

2 Missing hymns have already been given in the Life of Namdev. 

3 This human life has become profitable. 





Men dig deep foundations and build palaces thereon. 
Was any one longer lived than Markand 1 who put grass 
on his head and thus whiled away his days ? 
Only God the Creator is dear to me ; 2 

0 man, why art thou proud ? this unsubstantial body 
shall be destroyed. 

The Kauravs, Duryodhan and his brothers, used to say, 
' Everything is ours '. 

Their umbrellas 3 extended over a space of twelve jojans, 
yet the vultures devoured their bodies. 

Lanka was all gold ; was any one greater than Rawan ? 

What availed him the elephants tethered at his gate ? 
In a moment they became the property of others. 

The Yadavs practised deception on Durbasa, 4 and ob- 
tained the fiuit thereof. 

God showed mercy to His slave ; Namdev singeth His 

The following hymn was addressed to a Jogi who 
endeavoured to induce Namdev to embrace his 
religion : — • 


1 have restrained the ten organs of sense ; the very name 
of the five evil passions I have erased. 

Having extracted the poison from the seventy-two tanks 
of the heart, I have filled them with ambrosia ; 
I shall not allow the poison to return again. 

1 Markand was a long-Ii%ed Rikhi who did penance in a forest 
There is a temple dedicated to him at Jagannath. 

2 That is, I only think of Him, not of stately mansions or palaces. 

3 Courtiers allowed umbrellas. 

4 The Yadavs sent a boy dressed as a pregnant woman to Durbasa 
and put him the question whether a boy or a girl should be born 
Durbasa discovered the deception and cursed the Yadavs, with the 
result that they all perished. 

6 It was supposed by the mystics that the heart had scventy-twc 
blood-vessels ; but this is not according to Hindu medical science, which 
only allows ten blood-vessels altogether for the chest. — Dr. Hoernle. 


The ambrosial word I utter from my heart ; my spirit 
I instruct not to attach itself to worldly things. 

I have destroyed worldly love with an axe of adamant : 
T touch the guru's feet and implore him. 

Turning away from the world, I have become a servant 
of the saints and I fear them. 1 

I shall be saved from this world the moment I cease to 
be entangled by Maya. 

Maya is the name of the power which placeth man in 
the womb ; abandoning it I shall obtain a sight of God. 

The man who worshippeth in this way shall be freed 
from all fear. 

Saith Namdev, O man, why wander abroad ? 2 obtain 
God in the way I have told thee. 

Namdev tells by familiar examples how dear God 
is to him. 


As water is dear to the traveller in Marwar, and the creeper 
to the camel ; 

As the huntsman's bell at night is dear to the hind, so 
is God to my soul — 

Thy name is beautiful, Thy form is beautiful, very beauti- 
ful Thy colour, O my God — 

As rain is dear to the earth, as the odour of flowers is 
dear to the bumble-bee ; 

As the mango is dear to the kokil, 3 so is God to my soul. 

As the sun is dear to the sheldrake, as the lake of Man- 
sarowar is dear to the swan ; 

As the husband is dear to the wife, so is God to my soul. 

As milk is dear to the child, as a torrent of rain to the 
mouth of the chatrik ; 

As water is dear to the fish, so is God to my soul. 

All penitents, sidhs, and munis seek God, but few have 
seen Him. 

1 Also translated — I fear the courtesan Maya. 

2 Why lead an ascetic life in the forest ? 

3 The kokil sings during the mango season. 



As Thy name is dear to all creation, so is Vitthal to Nama's 

Namdev asked his guru how the world had been 
created. The guru replied : — 


Before the world a lotus was formed ; 
From it proceeded Brahma, and from Brahma all men. 
Know that everything else was produced from Maya, who 
leadeth the world a dance. 

Namdev then inquired how Maya was produced. 
The guru replied : — 

First a voice proceeded from God ; 

Afterwards Maya proceeded from God 

Through that voice the parts of this Maya and of that God 
blended, 1 and the world was produced. 

In this garden of God men dance like water in the pots 
of a well ; 2 

Women and men dance. 3 

There is no god but God — 

Argue not on this point. 

If thou have doubts, 

God saith, ' Consider in thy heart that this world and 
I are one.' 

The world is like water-pots, sometimes above, sometimes 

Wandering about I have come to Thy gate. 
God— Who art Thou ? 
Nama — I am Nama, Sire — 

0 Lord, save me from the world which bringeth death. 

1 This and the two preceding verses are also thus translated : — 
Man should first cease to love the world, 

He should next subdue his senses ; 
Then the soul and God become one. 

2 That is, are sometimes exalted, sometimes debased, sometimes 
high, and sometimes low, like the water-pots of a Persian wheel when 
in motion. 

3 That is, perform their various functions. 



The above hymn is also translated so as to give 
different versions of creation : — 

r. First a lotus was made by the all-pervading God ; 
From it proceeded Brahma and from him all human beings. 

2. Others say — Know that everything was produced by 
Maya who maketh men dance various dances. 

3. A third version is this — First a voice proceeded from 
God ; through that voice 

Maya and God united, 

Whence God's garden, 1 in which men dance like water 
in water-pots. 
Namdev gives his own opinion : — 
Women and men dance ; 
There is nothing but God, 
Dispute not this ; 
If thou have doubts, pray. 

0 God, be merciful ; come and save me ; Thou art mine 
only support. 

The world is like water-pots, now high now low. 
Wandering and wandering I have come to Thy door. 
God — Who art thou ? 

1 am, Sire, Namdev ; save me from the world which 
bringeth death. 

Namdev is happier than demigods and worldly 
men who profess religion. 


0 Lord, the purification of sinners is Thy daily work ; 
Hail to those saints who have meditated on my God. 
On my forehead is the dust of God's feet, 

Which is far from even demigods, worldly men, munis, 
and saints. 

Compassionate to the poor, O God, destroyer of pride, 
Nama hath found the asylum of Thy feet, and is a sacrifice 
unto Thee. 

1 Sat, reality; chit, conscience; and anand, happiness, are the 
attributes of God: nam, name; and rup, form, of Maya. The five 
qualities united form the garden of the world. 



It is said that Namdev composed the following 
on hearing two pandits disputing whether God was 
far or near : — 


Some say God is near, others that He is far away. 
To say He is near or far is, as it were, to say that a fish 
could climb a date-tree. 1 
Why, Sir, talkest thou nonsense ? 
They who have found God have concealed the fact. 
Men who are pandits shout the Veds, 
But the ignorant Namdev only knoweth God. 

On the eleventh day of every half-lunar month 
the Hindus fast. Namdev relinquished the practice, 
and also ceased to go on pilgrimages. A visitor to 
his house reproached him with his neglect of both 
these religious duties. The following is his reply :— 


Who that uttereth God's name retaineth the stain of sin ? 

Sinners have become pure by uttering His name. 

In the company of God His slave Namdev hath acquired 
ocular evidence. 

He hath ceased to fast on the eleventh day, and why 
should he go on pilgrimages ? 

Saith Namdev, my acts and thoughts have become 

Who hath not gone to heaven by uttering the name of 
God under the guru's instruction ? 

Namdev is satisfied with God as his portion. 


There is a play on three sets of words. 
There is a pot in a potter's house, an elephant in a king's 

1 Also translated — O man, thou art as a fish in water and seekest to 
climb a date-tree. 

E 2 


A widow 1 in a Brahman's house 2 — sing randi, sandi, 
handi 0 ! 3 

Asafoetida in a baniya's house, horns on a buffalo's fore- 

A lingam in a temple of Shiv — sing ling, sing, hing 0 ! 4 
Oil in an oilman's house, creepers in a forest, 
Plantains in a gardener's house — sing kel, bel, tel 0 ! 5 
Gobind in the company of the saints, Krishan in Gokal, 
And God in Nama — sing Ram, Siyam, Gobind 0 ! 6 


Namdev feels his dependence on God whom he 

Of me who am blind Thy name, 0 King, is the prop. 

I am poor, I am miserable, Thy name is my support. 

Bounteous and merciful Allah, Thou art generous ; 

I believe that Thou art present before me ; 

Thou art a river of bounty, Thou art the Giver, Thou art 
exceeding wealthy ; 

Thou alone givest and takest, there is none other ; 

Thou art wise, Thou art far-sighted ; what conception 
can I form of Thee ? 

0 Nama's Lord, Thou art the Pardoner, 0 God. 7 

Namdev on the way to Dwaraka was seized by 
a Mughal official and made a forced labourer. In 
his devotion he appears to have recognized the 

1 Randi — some gyanis translate this word almanac, as the 
Brahmans were astronomers and astrologers. Others again translate 
the word learning. 

2 Brahmans' widows were well treated by the public. 

3 Randi, sandi, handi are a widow, an elephant, and a pot 

4 Ling, sing, hing are the lingam, a horn, and asafoetida respectively. 

5 Kel, bel, and iel are plantains, creepers, and oil respectively. 

6 Ram, Siyam, and Gobind are names of God. Siyam is Krishan, 
so called from his sable colour. 

7 This hymn, abounding in the original in Arabic words, appears to 
show that Namdev held frequent religious discussions with Mullas 
during his travels. 



Mughal as God, and to have believed that his de- 
gradation was God's will. He composed the follow- 
ing on the occasion : — 


Halloo ! my Friend, halloo my Friend, how art Thou ? 

I am a sacrifice unto Thee, I am a sacrifice unto Thee. 

Good is Thy forced labour, exalted Thy name ; 

Whence hast Thou come ? where hast Thou been ? and 
whither art Thou going ? 

This is the city of Dwaraka ; tell the truth. 1 

Handsome is Thy turban, sweet Thy discourse ; 

But why should there be a Mughal in the city of Dwaraka ? 

Among several thousands of people Thou art the only 
Mughal seen ; 

Thou art the very picture of the king of sable hue ; 2 

Thou art the Lord of the horse, the Lord of the elephant, 
and the Ruler of men. 3 

Thou art Nama's Lord, the King of all, and the Giver 
of salvation. 


Through his guru Namdev has obtained dis- 
cernment and rendered his life profitable. 

The guru hath made my life profitable — 
I have forgotten sorrow and obtained joy within me. 
The guru hath granted me the eye-salve of divine know- 
ledge. 4 

0 my soul, without God's name man's life is vain. 
Namdev knoweth God by keeping Him in mind : 

My soul is absorbed in Him who giveth life to the world. 

To sing God's praises and remember Him is 
infinitely superior to all Hindu forms of devotion. 

1 Because Dwaraka is a very holy place, and man must not utter 
falsehoods there. 

2 Krishan, the lord of Dwaraka. 

3 The Sun, Indar, and Brahma respectively. 

4 To see more clearly. 



Were I to perform the horse-sacrifice, 1 
Give my weight in gold as alms, 
Bathe at Pryag, 

It would not be equal, O Nama, to singing God's praises. 

0 listless man, worship thy God. 
Were I to offer rice-balls 2 at Gaya, 
Dwell at Banaras, 

Recite the four Veds, 
Fulfil all religious offices, 

Restrain my senses under the guru's instruction, 

Perform the six duties of Brahmans, 

Read the conversations between Shiv and his consort 3 — 

All these different occupations would be useless ; O my soul, 
lay them aside, 

And remember, remember God's name. 

Worship Him, Nama, and thou shalt swim across the 
world's ocean. 

Namdev by familiar examples describes his love 
for God. 


As the deer followeth the huntsman's bell, 
And giveth up its own life rather than cease its atten- 

In the same way I gaze on God. 

1 do not leave Him to turn my mind in another direction. 
As the kingfisher gazeth on the fish, 

As the goldsmith meditaleth stealing gold while fashion- 
ing it, 

As the lustful man gazeth on the wife of another, 

1 In the earliest ages of Hinduism the horse as an animal of great 
value was sacrificed by kings who were disappointed of offspring. In 
later times the sacrifice was made principally for ostentation by kings 
who aspired to be greater than their fellows. 

2 Balls made of rice and barley are offered to the pilras, manes or 
ancestors, at Gaya, one of the holiest of Hindj places of pilgrimage. 

3 In the Tantar Shastar. 



As the gambler meditateth cheating while playing 
kauris 1 

So Nama ever meditateth on God's feet — 
Wherever I gaze there is God. 

A prayer for salvation : — 


Float me over, O God, float me over ! 2 

I am unskilful and know not how to swim ; O God, my 
Father, give me Thine arm. 

He to whom the true guru hath taught knowledge, is 
changed in a moment from a man into a demigod. 

I have obtained the medicine by which, though begotten 
by man, I have conquered heaven. 

Place me even for a short time where Thou hast placed 
Dhru and Narad. 

By the support of Thy name many have been saved : 
this is Nama's private opinion. 

By other familiar examples Namdev describes his 
ardent longing for God. 


I am ardently longing for the Friend- 
Without her calf a cow is lonely, 
Without water a fish writheth, 
So without God's name doth poor Nama. 
As the calf, when let loose, 

Sucketh his dam's teats and swalloweth her milk, 

So Namdev hath obtained God — 

When man meeteth the guru he showeth the Unseen — 

As the wicked man loveth another man's wife, 

So Nama loveth God. 

As man's body burneth in the bright sunshine, 
So doth poor Nama without the name of God. 

The advantages of repeating God's name. 

1 In a game played with kauris the gambler cheats in the counting. 

2 That is, Save me ! Save me ! 



By repeating the name of God all doubts are dispelled — 
Repeating the name of God is the highest religious 
exercise — 

By repeating the name of God caste and lineage are 

That God is the staff of the blind man. 

I bow before God ! I bow before God ! 

By repeating God's name Death tortureth not. 

God took the life of Harnakhas, 

And made for Ajamal a dwelling in heaven. 

The courtesan who taught her parrot to repeat God's name 
was saved — 

That God is the apple of mine eye — 

By repeating the name of God, Putana 1 full of deceit, 

The destroyer of children was saved ; 

By remembering the name of God the daughter of Drupad 
was saved ; 

Gautam's wife 2 though turned into a stone, was saved. 

1 Putana was a nurse whom Krishan's uncle, Kans, sent to destroy 
him by applying poison to the nipples of her breasts. Krishan, though 
an infant, squeezed her to death. With her last breath she said, 
' God, let me go.' For mentioning the name of God thus once she 
obtained salvation. 

8 Gautam, the husband of Ahalya, was a pious Rikhi who used to 
go and bathe in the Ganges after the first watch of night. The god 
Indar was wont to visit Gautam's wife during his absence. One 
night the moon rose at midnight. Ahalya became impatient for the 
visit of her divine paramour, and went to awake her husband, telling 
him it was the usual time for his ablutions in the sacred river. 
Gautam arose and proceeded on his pious duty. While bathing 
a voice proceeded from the Ganges, and told him not to come so 
early to bathe. Gautam replied that it was the usual time of his 
visit. The Ganges explained to him that it was not three o'clock 
in the morning. He must not judge by a deceptive midnight moon. 
Gautam cursed the moon. He returned to his house and found his 
daughter Anjani sitting in the court-yard. He asked her who was in 
the house ; she said ' Manjara ', a word which means either cat or 
mother's lover. Gautam, on account of her equivocation, cursed her 
too. He prayed that she a virgin might bear a child, and in due time 
she bore Hanuman, the monkey-god. Gautam on entering his house 
found Indar with his wife. The holy Rikhi cursed Indar with dire 



God destroyed Kesi 1 and Kans, 
And conferred the gift of life on Kalinag. 
Nama representeth, by repeating the name of such a God 
fear and trouble depart. 

The fate of worshippers of false gods. 


They who worship Bhairav shall become sprites ; 

They who worship Sitala shall ride on donkeys and 
scatter dust — 

For myself I take the name of the one God : 

I would give all other gods in exchange for it. 

They who repeat the name of Shiv and worship him, 

Shall ride on an ox and play the drum ; 

They who worship the great mother Durga, 

Shall be born as women instead of men. 

Thou callest thyself, 0 Durga, the primal Bhawani, 

When it came to my turn to be saved, where didst thou 
hide thyself ? 

Under the instruction of the guru, 0 my friend, cling 
to God's name — 
Nama representeth, thus saith the Gita. 2 

and shameful result. He cursed his wife too, and she was turned 
into a stone in the forest. The god Ram in his travels stumbled 
against the stone, and by the divine touch Ahalya obtained the boon 
of salvation. 

1 Kesi came in the disguise of a horse to eat up Krishan, but was 
killed by that hero thrusting his arm into his mouth and rending him 

2 The following are the allusions in the above hymn : — 
Bhairav is an inferior manifestation of Shiv and his consort Durga. 

Shiv in this form is represented riding on a dog. 

Sitala is the goddess who presides over small-pox. She is re- 
presented riding on a donkey, and is largely worshipped by Indian 
women, particularly during epidemics of the disease. 

Those who worship Bhairav, sprites, Sitala, and Shiv, contract the 
qualities of the steeds of the objects of their worship. 

Durga cannot confer salvation. She bestows wealth, offspring, &c. 
When King Pipa asked her for salvation she professed herself unable 
to grant it. 


Namdev admonishes an idolatrous Brahman. 


To-day I Nama saw God, I now admonish the fool — 
0 pandit, thy gayatri used to graze on the boor's field ; 
He took a stick and broke her leg ; since then she hath 
walked lame. 1 

O pandit, I have seen thy great god Shiv going along on 
a white bullock. 

In his consort ParbatVs house a banquet for him was 
prepared ; he killed her son. 2 

0 pandit, thy Ram Chandar — I have seen him too going 
along ; 

Having lost his wife he fought with Rawan. 
The Hindus are blind, the Musalmans purblind ; 
The man who knoweth God is wiser than either. 
The Hindus worship their temple, the Musalmans their 

Nama worshippeth Him who hath neither temple nor 

The saint Trilochan once twitted Namdev with 

1 The gayatri is said to have originally been the wife of Brahma. For 
some shortcoming on her part Brahma cursed her, and she became a cow. 
In this form she used to graze on villagers' fields until one of them took 
a stick and broke her leg ; since then she has been lame. There is 
another story in which the gayatri is mentioned. Vishwamitra and 
Vishisht were two eminent Rikhis. The former, in revenge for a slight 
offered him, killed the hundred sons of the latter. At every murder 
he used to repeat the gayatri to obtain absolution for the crime. Upon 
this Vishisht cursed the gayatri and it lost eight of its letters. See 
Vol. i, p. 1 66, n. 4. 

2 Shiv said he would not partake of the banquet prepared for him 
by Parbati unless his ox were also fed. The lady inquired what meal 
would please the animal. Shiv replied ' Your son '. This he said 
to make trial of her faith. She killed her son to offer his flesh to the 
ox, but Shiv, on seeing her devotion, restored the youth to life. 
Another version of this story is that Parbati told her son Ganesh to 
watch outside her door while she was bathing, and allow no one to 
enter and behold her nakedness. Shiv presented himself for admission 
which was refused by Ganesh. Upon this Shiv killed him, but, 
softened by the weeping of Parbati, again restored him to life, giving 
him, however, an elephant's head instead of his own. 



being always engaged in his trade. Namdev made 
him the following reply :— 

Ram kali 

A boy taketh paper, cutteth it into a kite, and flyeth it in 
the sky. 

While conversing with his companions, he keepeth his 
attention on the string. 

I have pierced my soul with God's name, 

As the goldsmith's attention is engrossed in his work. 

The queen's female servant taketh her pitcher, filleth it 
with water, 

Converseth laughingly and pleasantly, yet keepeth her 
attention on the pitcher. 

If the cows of a city with ten gates 1 be let loose to 

And they go grazing for even five miles, they will remem- 
ber their young, and return each by her own gate. 

Saith Namdev, hear, O Trilochan, when a child is laid 
in its cradle, 

Its mother, whether engaged at home or abroad, keepeth 
her thoughts on her child. 

The following hymn embodying Namdev' s reso- 
lutions is also believed to have been addressed to 
Trilochan : — 


The endless songs and poetry of the Veds, Purans, and 
Shastars I will not sing ; 

I will play unbeaten music in the imperishable region of 
God ; 

Ceasing to love the world I will sing of God. 

Imbued with Him who is beyond expression and indes- 
tructible, I shall go to the abode of the Inscrutable One. 

I will cease to hold my breath in the right or left nostril 
or between them both. 

1 This means a great city and a great number of cattle. 


I deem the left and right nostril the same ; I shall be 
blended with the light of God. 

I will not go to see places of pilgrimages nor enter their 
waters ; I will not annoy men or lower animals. 

The guru showed me the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage 
in my heart where I will bathe. 

I will not have myself glorified and congratulated by my 
select friends. 

Nama saith, my heart is dyed with God, and I shall be 
absorbed in Him. 

God preceded all creation, all religious books, and 
all karma. 


When there was no mother, no father, no karma, and 
nobody ; 

When we were not and you were not, who was there and 
whence did he come ? 

0 God, no one hath any relation ; 

Man's dwelling in this world is like the perching of a bird 
on a tree. 

When there was no moon, no sun, when there was only 
water and air blended together, 

When there were no Shastars and no Veds, whence did 
karma come ? 1 

1 have by the favour of the guru obtained God, for whom 
the Jogis suspend their breath, and fix their attention on 
the bridges of their noses, and the Bairagis wear necklaces 
of sweet basil. 

Nama representeth, God is the Primal Essence ; when 
there is a true guru he showeth Him. 

The repetition of God's name is superior to all 
other forms of worship. 


If one perform penance with body reversed at Banaras, 

1 Namdev means that everything proceeded from God, whom he says 
in the following verse he has found. 



and die at a place of pilgrimage ; if one burn one's body 
with fire, or strive to make it survive for a kalpa ; 1 

If one perform the horse sacrifice or offer secret presents 2 
of gold, all that would not be equal to the name of God. 

0 hypocritical man, renounce deception ; practise it not ; 
Ever and ever take God's name. 

Wert thou to go to the Ganges and the Godavari every 

twelfth year, bathe at Kedarnath, 

And make offerings of thousands of cows at the Gomti ; 3 
Wert thou to perform millions of pilgrimages, freeze thy 

body in the Himalayas, all would not be equal to the name 

of God ; 

Wert thou to offer horses, elephants, women with their 
couches, lands, and make such gifts continually to Brahmans ; 

Wert thou to purify thy body and offer its weight in gold, 
all would not be equal to the name of God. 

Look for the pure dignity of Nirvan, and be not after- 
wards angry with thyself, or attribute blame to the god of 
death. 4 

Nama representeth, drink the real nectareous elixir of 
my king Ram Chandar, the son of Jasarath Rai. 5 

Mali Gaura 

The following glorification of Krishan was com- 
posed after Namdev had embraced his worship : — 

1 A kalpa is a day and night of Brahma, four billion three hundred 
and twenty million years. 

2 Garbhdan, gold concealed in fruit or similar articles such as were 
given to men in power in olden times to purchase their favour. 

8 This is the well-known river in Awadh (Oude) generally known 
as the Gumti. It is so called not from its winding — gum — stream, 
but because it gave water and contributed to pasturage for kine. 
There were several rivers of that name, one of which at one time flowed 
into the Indus. 

4 It will be your own and not the fault of the god of death if you 
are not saved, and you should not blame him. 

5 The preceding lines of this hymn and Bilawal VI, given in Namdev's 
life, show that he worshipped the supreme God, here called Ram 
Chandar, as He is in other places Ram, Hari, &c. The words Jasarath 
Rai nand appear to have been added as a stereotyped expression of 
that transitional age. 



Happy, happy that flute which Krishan played ! 

A very sweet unbeaten sound issueth from it. 

Happy > happy that blanket which Krishan wore ! 

Happy, happy that ram and his fleece it was made from. 

Hail, hail to thee, mother Devaki, 

In whose house god, the lord of Lakshmi, was born ! 

Blest, blest the forest glades of Bindraban, 

Where Nama's god Narayan sported, 

Played his flute, herded his cows, 

And was happy. 


God, my father, hail to thee, dark complexioned Vitthal 
with the long hair ! 

Holding in thy hand the discus, thou didst come from 
heaven and save the life of the great elephant ; 

Thou didst save Draupadi when her clothes were being 
torn off her in Duhsasan's court ; 

Thou didst save Ahalya the wife of Gautam ; 

How many hast Thou purified and saved ! 1 

Thus the lowly Namdev without caste hath entered Thy 

God is in everything and Namdev has become 
absorbed in Him. The following marks a stage in 
Namdev's progress to divine unity. 


In every heart God speaketh, God speaketh ; 

Doth any one speak independently of Him ? 

There is the same earth in the elephant and the ant ; 
vessels of many kinds 2 are made from earth. 

In mobile and immobile things, in worms and moths, and 
in every heart God is contained. 

Think of the one God who is endless ; abandon all other 

1 Also translated — How many hast Thou saved by the touch of 
Thy feet ! 

2 That is, various bodies are fashioned from the same material. 



Nama representeth ; I have become free from desires ; 
and in this state who is Lord and who is slave ? 1 


God has showered His favours on Namdev as He 
did on other saints. 

When I entered the asylum of God the Bridegroom, I 
obtained the four stages of salvation and the four super- 
natural powers. 

I have been saved, I have become famous through the 
four ages, and I have put the umbrella of praise and fame 
over my head. 

Who hath not been saved by repeating the name of the 
Sovereign God ? 

They who listen to the guru's instruction and associate 
with holy men are called saints. 

On beholding the effulgence of the guru, who is conspicu- 
ous with his shell, discus, necklace, and sacrificial mark, 
Death becometh afraid. 

Man then becometh fearless, and by the power of God 
thundereth forth that he hath escaped the pain of trans- 

God gave king Ambarik 2 the gift of salvation, and 
aggrandized Babhikhan with sovereignty ; 

The Lord gave the nine treasures to Sudama, and made 
Dhru immovable in the north pole, where he is fixed to the 
present day ; 

God having assumed the body of Narsinh the man-lion, 
killed Harnakhas for the sake of his saint Prahlad. 

Nama saith, Vishnu is in the power of the saints, and is 
till now standing at the door of Bali. 3 

1 The Lord and the slave are blended in one. Namdev has 
obtained salvation. 

2 Ambarik was a king of Ajudhia famed for his piety. He was an 
ancestor of Ram Chandar. 

4 Bali, son of Prahlad,* through his devotion and penance humbled 
the gods, and extended his authority over the three worlds. The gods 
appealed to Vishnu for protection, and he, under the disguise of a 
dwarf, restrained the energies of Bali, took heaven and earth from him, 



Namdev enjoins his tongue under severest penalty 
to utter God's name. 


0 my tongue, if thou utter not God's name, 

1 will break thee into a hundred pieces. 

0 tongue, dye thyself with God's name ; 

Meditating on God's name dye thyself with a good 
dye ; 

False, 0 my tongue, are all other occupations. 
The dignity of Nirvan is only obtained through the name 
of God. 

Wert thou to worship countless millions of other 

It would not be equal to repeating God's name alone, 
Namdev representeth, this do, 0 my tongue, and say ' O 
God, Thy forms are endless.' 

A man may in other respects be perfect but he is 
lost if he repeat not God's name. 


God dwelleth near him 

Who coveteth not another's wealth or another's wife. 

1 will not look at him 

Who repeateth not God's name. 
As a beast is that man 
Whose heart is estranged from God. 
Namdev representeth, a man without a nose 
Doth not look well even with the other thirty-two marks 
of beauty. 1 

and left him the infernal regions. Though Vishnu gained this 
supreme victory, yet, as he was pleased with Bali's devotion, he agreed 
to stand at his door and wait upon him. 

1 These marks include not only perfection of limbs and features, 
but artificial ornaments and decorations by which beauty is supposed to 
be enhanced. 



When Namdev gave up trade, and devoted him- 
self exclusively to the worship of God and attend- 
ance on His saints, people began to slander him. 
The following is his apology :— 


I am a mad woman and God is my spouse ; 
It is for Him I decorate myself elaborately. 
Abuse me well, abuse me well, abuse me well, 0 people ; 
My body and soul are for my beloved God. 
I hold no idle discussion with any one ; 
I sip with my tongue the elixir of God. 
Now I know in my heart that such an arrangement hath 
been made, 

By which I shall meet God with banners and music. 
Whether any one give me praise or blame, 
Nama hath met God. 1 

Man ought to be satisfied with his lot ; he will 
be saved by devotion. 


Sometimes man is not satisfied even with milk, molasses, 
and clarified butter ; 

Sometimes he beggeth morsels from house to house ; 

Sometimes he picketh up pulse-sweepings. 

Remain as God hath placed thee, 0 brother — 

The greatness of God cannot be described — 

Sometimes man rideth on prancing steeds ; 2 

Sometimes he hath not shoes for his feet ; 

Sometimes he putteth himself to sleep on a couch with 
a clean coverlet ; 

Sometimes he cannot get straw to sleep upon — 

Saith Namdev, the Name alone saveth ; 

He who hath found a spiritual guide shall be delivered. 

1 Srlrang, a name under which God is worshipped in parts of the 
south of India. The name Srirangapatam {Anglice, Seringapatam) is 
derived from this word, and means the town of Srlrang. 

2 Literally — he maketh his Turkistani steed dance. 



Namdev describes by familiar examples how dear 
God is to him. 


As food is dear to the hungry, 

As the thirsty need water, 

As the fool is attached to his family, 

So God is dear to Nama. 

Nama's love is devoted to God, 

And he hath easily severed himself from the world. 

As a woman is smitten with a strange man, 

As a greedy man loveth wealth, 

As woman is dear to the lustful, 

Such is Nama's love for God. 

That is real love by which God attacheth man to Him, 
And by which through the guru's favour duality 1 de- 

Love for Him who filleth my heart shall never be sundered ; 

Nama hath applied his heart to the true Name. 

As the love between a child and its mother, 

So is my soul imbued with God. 

Namdev representeth, I love God ; 

He dwelleth in my heart. 

Man should rather seek the guru's protection than 
devote himself to sinful pleasures. 


As a fool leaveth the wife of his home, 

Hath intercourse with a strange woman, and is ruined. 

As the parrot is pleased on seeing the simmal, 2 

But at last dieth clinging to it, 

So the home of the sinner shall be in hell-fire ; 

He shall continue to burn and never have respite. 

He never goeth to see where God is worshipped, 

He leaveth the right path and goeth the wrong one, 

1 Dubidha here means separation from God. 

2 The parrot is particularly pleased with the simmal-tree and its 
cotton pods, but when he pecks at it he cannot disengage his bill and 
thus perishes. 



He forgetteth God and suffereth transmigration, 
He reject eth ambrosia and eateth a load of poison. 
When a dancing-girl arriveth on the dancing-floor, 
She putteth on rich dresses, adorneth herself, 
Danceth to measure, and modulateth her voice, 
While Death's noose is on her neck. 
He on whose forehead such destiny hath been written, 
Quickly entereth the protection of the guru. 
Saith Namdev, this is my decision — 

0 saints, thus shall you obtain salvation. 

The fate of Harnakhas who objected to his son 
Prahlad's devotion. 


Sanda and Marka 1 went and complained to Harnakhas — 
Thy son Prahlad will not study and we are tired of 
teaching him ; 

He singeth God's praises, beateth time with his hands, 
and corrupteth all the other pupils ; 

He repeateth the name of God ; 

In his heart he remembereth God.' 

The queen represented to her son — ' The king hath 
reduced the whole earth to subjection : 

My son Prahlad, thou doest not his bidding ; he hath 
some design on thee.' 

A council of his enemies met and passed a resolution, 
' We will lengthen his life.' 2 

They terrified him by throwing him from a height, by put- 
ting him into water and fire, but God changed for him the 
properties of matter. 

Harnakhas enraged drew his sword, and threatened him 
with death, saying, ' Show me who will save thee.' 

Prahlad replied, ' God who weareth yellow clothes, the 
Lord of the three worlds, is in the pillar.' 

Upon this God tore Harnakhas with his nails, and ren- 
dered demigods and men happy. 3 

1 These two brothers were both preceptors of Prahlad. 

2 Ironical, meaning ' We will kill him.' 

3 Here the word sand/A would also mean that God reassumed his 

F 2 


Saith Namdev, I meditate on that God who bestoweth 

The advantages of a guru. 


When one hath a guru, he meeteth God ; 
When one hath a guru, he is saved ; 
When one hath a guru, he goeth to heaven ; 
When one hath a guru, while he liveth he is dead — 
True, true, true, true, true is the guru ; 
False, false, false, false is all other service than his — 
When one hath a guru, he inculcateth the Name ; 
When one hath a guru, he runneth not in the ten direc- 
tions ; 

When one hath a guru, he is far removed from the five 
evil passions ; 

When one hath a guru, he dieth not of grief ; 

When one hath a guru, he obtaineth the ambrosial Word ; 

When one hath a guru, he heareth the story of the In- 
effable ; 

When one hath a guru, his body becometh immortal ; 

When one hath a guru, he uttereth the Name ; 

When one hath a guru, he seeth the three worlds ; 

When one hath a guru, he knoweth how to reach the 
exalted position ; 

When one hath a guru, his head toucheth heaven ; 

When one hath a guru, he is ever congratulated ; 

When one hath a guru, he is ever estranged from the world ; 

When one hath a guru, he abandoneth slander ; 

When one hath a guru, he deemeth evil and good the same ; 

When one hath a guru, good destiny is written on his 
forehead ; 1 

When one hath a guru, evil passions seduce not his body ; 
When one hath a guru, the temple turneth towards him ; 

authority over demigods and men, who had previously been subjects 
of Harnakhas. 

1 According to the Sikhs evil destiny may be altered by the kind- 
ness of the Guru, as a coin is renewed by restamping. 



When one hath a guru, his hut is rebuilt for him ; 
When one hath a guru, his bed cometh forth from the 
river ; 1 

When one hath a guru, he batheth in the sixty-eight 
places of pilgrimage ; 

When one hath a guru, the quoit of Vishnu is impressed 
on his body ; 

When one hath a guru, he performeth the twelve adora- 
tions ; 2 

When one hath a guru, all poisons become wholesome ; 3 

When one hath a guru, doubts are dispelled ; 

When one hath a guru, he escapeth from Death ; 

When one hath a guru, he crosseth over the terrible ocean ; 

When one hath a guru, he suffereth not transmigration ; 

When one hath a guru, he obtaineth the advantages of 
the eighteen Purans ; 

When one hath a guru, he obtaineth the eighteen loads 
of vegetables ; 

Without the guru, there is no resting-place — 

Namdev hath entered the guru's protection. 

Namdev once fell into a trance, and thought he 
was playing cymbals in God's honour. God is said 
to have appeared before him as a Qalandar, and 
taken his cymbals from him. Namdev on awaking 
composed the following in God's praise : — 


Come God, the Qalandar 
Wearing the dress of an Abdali. 4 

1 The Emperor, on being satisfied of Namdev's innocence, presented 
him with a gilt bed. Namdev at first refused to take it, but when great 
pressure was employed, he took it and threw it into the Ganges. The 
Emperor thereupon asked the saint to restore it. He called upon the 
holy river to give it up, and the story goes that it did so with six 
other similar beds. 

2 There are twelve great lingams ; possessing a guru is equal to 
them all. 

3 All pains are turned into pleasures. 

4 This word now generally means a Muhammadan devotee. It 
literally means — servant of God. 


The firmament is the hat on Thy head, the seven nether 
regions Thy slippers ; 

All animals with skins are Thy temples ; thus art Thou 
decked out, 0 God ! 

The fifty-six millions of clouds are Thy robes and the 
sixteen thousand queens of Krishan Thy waistbands ; 

The eighteen loads of vegetables are Thy clubs, the whole 
world is Thy salver ; 

Nama's body is Thy mosque, his heart Thy priest who 
tranquilly prayeth. 

0 Thou with and without form, Thou who art wedded to 
lady Lakshmi, 

While I was worshipping Thou hadst my cymbals taken 
from me : to whom shall I complain ? 

Nama's Lord is the Searcher of all hearts, and wandereth 
in every land. 


Man ought not to abandon God's service even 
though it be irksome. 


If a servant run away when his master is in trouble, 1 
The servant shall not be long-lived, he shall bring shame 
on his father and mother's family. 

1 will not abandon Thy service, 0 Lord, even though men 
scoff at me ; 

Thy lotus feet dwell in my heart. 
As man accepteth death to secure wealth, 
So the saints relinquish not God's name. 
Pilgrimages to the Ganges, Gaya, and Godavari are worldly 
acts ; 

If God be pleased, Nama shall be His worshipper. 

Namdev's prayer when in danger of drowning in 
the stormy ocean of worldly love. 


The waves of covetousness sound like a cataract, my 
body is drowning therein, O God. 

1 Also translated — Even if a master annoy his servant, and the 
latter flee away. 



Float me over the ocean of the world, 0 God, float me 
over, Father Vitthal. 

In this gale I cannot steer my boat, I cannot reach 
Thine opposite shore, O God. 

Be compassionate and cause me to meet a true guru ; 
take me across, O God. 

Nama saith, I do not even know how to swim ; give me 
Thine arm, give me Thine arm, 0 God. 

Man slowly grows up. He then becomes the sport 
of the world and commits sin, but his soul can be 
washed pure by the guru. 


As an ant draggeth along a bit of cow-dung, 
So this cart fashioned from dust and seed 
At first moveth slowly ; 
But afterwards the world driveth it with a rod. 
My darling soul goeth to the wash-tank. 1 
The washerman 2 dyed with love washeth it with the water 
of God's name ; 
My heart is fascinated with God's feet. 
Saith Nama, Thou, O God, who art everywhere diffused, 
Have compassion on Thy worshipper ! 


Man is intoxicated with worldly love but what 
he amasses will not go with him, wherefore he ought 
to prepare for hereafter. 


0 man, why hast thou gone into a forest of evil passions ? 
Thou hast partaken of the thieves' plant 3 and gone 

A fish abideth in water, 
And taketh no notice of the deadly net ; 
It swalloweth the bait to gratify its palate, 

1 The congregation of the saints. 2 The guru. 

3 Dhatura, bhang, &c, by which thags stupefy their victims. By it 
here spiritual ignorance is meant. 


So man is bound by the love of gold and woman. 
When the bees hoard up a great store of honey, 
Man taketh the honey and throweth dirt on the bees. 
The cow storeth up milk for her calf, 
But the milkman tieth the calf up by the neck and milketh 
the cow. 

For wealth man maketh great endeavours ; 
That wealth he taketh and burieth in the ground. 
He amasseth a great deal, but the fool understandeth not 
That his riches shall remain on the earth and his body 
become dust. 
He burneth with great lust, wrath, and avarice ; 
He never joineth the company of holy men. 
Saith Namdev, seek God's protection ; 1 
Become fearless and worship God. 

God is contained in everything. 


Why layest Thou not a wager with me, 0 God, that there 
is nothing but Thee ? 

The servant is known from his master, and the master 
from his servant ; this is my game with Thee. 

Thou art God and Thine own temple, Thou worshippest 

From water proceed waves, from waves water, though 
both have different names in conversation. 

Thou art the Singer, Thou art the Dancer, Thou art the 
Trumpet-player — 

Saith Namdev, Thou art my Lord ; Thy servant is im- 
perfect ; Thou art perfect. 

In the following God is supposed to address 
Namdev :— 


' The man who worshippeth none but Me is in Mine own 
image ; 

The sight of him even for a moment removeth man's 

1 Tacit an is also translated — forswear those things, but this 
meaning would not be appropriate elsewhere. 



three fevers, 1 and his touch extricateth man from the pit 
of family life. 

A saint can release one bound by Me, but I cannot 
release one bound by a saint. 

If a saint seize and bind Me at any time, I can say 
naught to him. 

I am bound by men's merits ; I am the life of all things, 
but My slave is My life. 2 

0 Namdev, My love shall shine over him whose heart hath 
such faith.'' 


The extent and greatness of God's palace, in which 
the demigods and all created things are servants. 


Serve God who is unknowable and stainless. 

Give me, 0 God, the gift of service for which saints beg. 

God's palace hath pavilions on every side ; in heaven is 
His gorgeous dwelling and mansion ; 

He filleth equally the seven regions of the world. 

In His palace dwelleth the ever youthful Lakshmi ; 

The moon and sun are His lamps, the wretched mounte- 
bank Death, who levieth a tax on all, is His judge — 

Such a Monarch is God. 

In His mansion Brahma with the four faces who created 
the whole world is the fashioning potter ; 3 

In His mansion enthusiast 4 Shiv, the world's teacher, 
preacheth pure divine knowledge ;■ 

At His gate are the mace-bearers Evil and Good, and the 
accountants Chitr and Gupt ; 

Dharmraj the destroyer is His porter — 

Such a Monarch is God. 

In His mansion are the heralds, the heavenly dancers, the 
rikhis, and the poor minstrels who melodiously sing ; 

1 Adhi, mental pain ; viadhi, bodiiy pain ; upadhi, pain from external 
causes. A boil would be viadhi, a fall upadhi. 

2 Is very dear to Me. 

3 In allusion to Brahma's role as the creator. 

4 Filled with religious enthusiasm. 


All the Shastars are His actors ; 1 His theatre is stupend- 
ous ; kings sweetly sing His praises ; 

The winds are His waving chauris ; 

His handmaiden is Maya who hath vanquished the 
world ; 

His fire-place is the blind pit of hell fire, — 

Such a Monarch is the Lord of the three worlds. 

In His mansion the tortoise is a bed ; Vasuki 2 with its 
thousand hoods the cords to bind it ; 

His flower-girl is the eighteen loads of vegetables ; His 
water-carrier the ninety-six millions of clouds ; 

The Ganges is the perspiration of His feet, 

The seven seas His water-stands, 

All living things His vessels — 

Such a Monarch is the Lord of the three worlds — 

At His mansion wait Arjan, Dhru, Prahlad, Ambarik, 

Narad, Nejai, 3 the Sidhs, the Budhas, the heralds, and the 
heavenly dancers who extol Him and play before Him. 

In God's mansion are so many living beings 

Within all of whom He is diffused. 

Namdev representeth, seek God's protection, 

Whose standard all His saints bear. 


God compared to reflection in a mirror. 

God the Searcher of hearts, 
Like a body reflected in a mirror, 

Dwelleth in every heart ; nothing produce th an effect or 
impression on Him. 

He is free from all entanglements and devoid of caste. 

When one looketh at one's own face in the water, the water 
can produce no impression on it, 

So nothing can produce an impression on Vitthal, Nama's 

1 In allusion to the various and different rites prescribed by the 

2 A serpent frequently identified with Sheshnag. 

3 A holy Rikhi, of whom, otherwise, nothing is known. 




Everything is unreal ; God alone is real. 


Only the heart knoweth its own state ; either keep thy 
secret to thyself, or tell it to a man of understanding. 

Since I repeat the name of God, the Searcher of hearts, why 
should I be afraid ? 

God, the Lord of the earth, hath penetrated me. 

My God is diffused in every place. 

Shops are only phantoms, shopkeepers 1 are only phan- 
toms, cities are only phantoms. 

The different grades of men who inhabit the earth are 
phantoms, and the world wandereth in error? 

When the heart is imbued with the guru's instruction, 
duality is easily effaced. 

All things are subject to the Commander's order ; He is 
fearless and regardeth all alike. 

He who knoweth and worshippeth the Supreme Being, 
uttereth words of divine knowledge. 

Nama saith, I have obtained the Life of the world in my 
heart ; He is invisible and wonderful. 

God communicates to man the perfume of holiness 
and changes him to gold. 


God was in the beginning before the ages and in every 
age : His end is not known. 

God is contained in everything uninterruptedly ; thus is 
His form described. 

The unbeaten strain resoundeth for him who repeateth 
God's name — 

Happy is my God — 

1 Pasari. Literally — druggists. The word here means men 
generally, because they make a display as Oriental druggists do of 
their wares. 

2 This and the preceding line are also translated — 

To honour God is my shop, to honour God is my city, to honour God 
is my world ; 

To honour God is my residence ; others wander in different ways. 


The sandal-tree by its perfume is pleasant to the other 
trees of the forest ; 

Through God who was before all things and who perfumeth 
like sandal, common wood becometh sandal. 1 

Thou, 0 God, art as the philosopher's stone ; I am as 
the iron ; in Thine association I have become gold. 

Thou art compassionate, Thou art the jewel and the ruby. 

Nama hath been absorbed in the True One. 

Man cannot hope to obtain bliss until he has 
learnt to know God who is within him. 


The inscrutable Being invented a play — 
God is concealed in every heart, 
No one knoweth the nature of the soul's light ; 2 
What we ourselves have done Thou knowest. 
As an earthen vessel is produced from clay, 
So Vitthal created the world. 
The soul's entanglements depend on its acts ; 
It is itself responsible for what it hath done. 
Namdev representeth, the soul obtaineth the result of its 
thoughts ; 

The soul which always remaineth fixed on the Inscrutable 
One, becometh immortal. 3 


Trilochan, a name which literally means three- 
eyed, that is, seer of the present, past, and future, 
was a celebrated saint of the Vaisya caste. His birth 
is said to have taken place in the year a. d. 1267 * He 

1 Men become holy by devotion and pious association. 

2 Since it comes from God and has not been made by man. 

3 Shall no longer be subject to transmigration. 

4 The dates of birth of Trilochan and several other Bhagats have been 
given to the author by Sadhu Janklbar Saran of Ajudhia. 



either lived at or visited Pandharpur in the Sholapur 
district of the Bombay Presidency, and was a contem- 
porary of Namdev, who mentioned or addressed him in 
his hymns. Inquiries at Pandharpur and the neigh- 
bouring city of Barsi have, however, failed to 
furnish any information regarding Trilochan. The 
following legend passes for history among his ad- 
mirers. He had a perfect faith in and love for saints, 
but they visited him in inconveniently large num- 
bers, and there were only he and his wife to attend 
and wait on them. He thought that they were not 
served as he could have wished, so he resolved on 
engaging a servant if he could find one who was 
accustomed to minister to holy men. He continued 
to search for such an attendant, but not finding 
one became sad at heart. It is said that God was 
not pleased at the sorrow of his saint, and sent him 
a candidate for service. Trilochan asked the candi- 
date who he was, whence he had come, and whether 
he had parents and a house and home. The man 
replied that he had no parents or home. He had 
merely come to be engaged as a servant. He could 
wait on the saints of God without assistance from 
others, as his life had been spent in such service. 
He gave his name as Antarjami, which interpreted 
means Searcher of hearts. Trilochan was highly 
pleased and ordered his wife to engage him and 
cheerfully supply all his wants. She was cautioned 
to consider his pleasure as her first duty. 

Antarjami performed menial services for the saints, 
such as cooking, drawing water, washing their feet, 
shampooing and bathing them, in such a manner that 
Trilochan's house became famous for its hospitality ; 
and a large crowd of saints began to live with him 
and consume his substance. Thirteen months passed 
in this way, until one day Trilochan's wife went to 
visit a female neighbour. The latter inquired why 
she was so dirty and looked so miserable. She re- 
plied that her lord had taken into his employ a 


servant who required so much attention that she 
had to spend all her days grinding corn and cooking 
for him. This was reported to Antarjami and he 
promptly disappeared. 

When the time came to wait on the saints, Antar- 
jami could not be found. Trilochan became very 
much grieved, and, rebuking his wife, told her that 
it was through her indiscretion Antarjami had left 
their service. When Trilochan's grief had lasted for 
three days it is said that he was comforted by 
divine interposition. He consequently applied him- 
self to the praise and contemplation of the one true 
God. His sorrow was then dispelled. 

The following hymns of Trilochan are found in the 
Granth Sahib : — 

Sri Rag 

Trilochan admonishes mortals. 

The heart feeleth great worldly love, 0 mortal, through 
which man forgetteth old age and the fear of death. 

0 fool, thou art pleased on beholding thy family, like 
a thief on espying his neighbour's house. 

When the powerful myrmidons of Death come with a 

1 cannot withstand them. 

May some friend come and speak to me ! 1 

Come to me, my God, throw Thine arms around me ! 

Come to me, my God, and rescue me ! 

In various pleasures and royal state, 0 mortal, hast thou 
forgotten God, and deemest thyself the only immortal one 
in this world. 

Deceived by mammon thou hast not thought of God, and 
hast lost thy life, O heedless man. 

Mortal, thou must tread a difficult and terrible path 
where neither sun nor moon hath entrance. 

When man hath abandoned the world, he forgetteth his 
worldly love. 

1 That is, give me spiritual consolation. 



To-day it hath become clear to mine understanding that 
Dharmraj will keep his eye on man. 

There his very powerful myrmidons will rub men between 
their hands, and none may withstand them. 

If any one give me instruction, let it be this that God is 
contained in every place. 1 

O God, saith Trilochan, Thou knowest everything. 


A Hermit, a Sanyasi, a Brahmin called Jai Chand, 
a Jogi, and a Kapria held a religious discussion in 
which each maintained the superiority of his own 
sect. They came in the heat of their arguments to 
Trilochan, and he, knowing that they were all 
hypocrites, addressed them each in turn as follows : — 

To the Hermit. — Thou hast not cleansed thy heart from 
filth, although thou wearest the dress of a hermit. 

To the Sanyasi. — In the lotus of thy heart thou hast 
not recognized God ; why hast thou become a Sanyasi ? 

To the Brahmin. — Thou hast gone astray in error, 0 Jai 

And not recognized God the Primal Joy. 

To the Jogi. — Eating in every house thou hast fattened 
thy body ; thou wearest a patched coat and beggar's ear- 
rings for gain. 

Thou hast rubbed on thyself the ashes of the cremation- 
ground, but, being without a spiritual guide, thou hast not 
found the Real Thing. 2 

Why mutter spells ? Why practise austerities ? Why 
churn water ? 

Remember God the Dweller at ease, who hath created 
the eighty-four lakhs of existences. 

To the Kapria. — 0 Kapria, why carriest thou a water- 
pot ? Why wanderest thou to the sixty-eight places of 
pilgrimage ? 

Saith Trilochan, hear, O mortal, having no corn why 
layest thou a threshing-floor ? 

1 Wan inn, literally — in the woods and glades. 

2 God. 


Last thoughts determine man's future state. 
At the last moment, he who thinketh upon his wealth 
and dieth in that thought, 
Shall be born again and again as a serpent. 

0 my friend, forget not God's name. 

At the last moment, he who thinketh of a woman and 
dieth in that thought, 

Shall be born again and again as a prostitute. 

At the last moment, he who thinketh upon a boy 1 and 
dieth in that thought, 

Shall be born again and again as a hog. 

At the last moment he who thinketh of a mansion and 
dieth in that thought, 

Shall be born again and again as a sprite. 

At the last moment he who thinketh upon God and dieth 
in that thought, 

Saith Trilochan, shall obtain salvation, and God shall 
dwell in his heart. 


Trilochan, engaged in his devotions, neglected his 
worldly calling, and this led to his straitened domestic 
circumstances. Thereupon his wife became discon- 
tented and upbraided God. The following is Trilo- 
chan's remonstrance. He endeavoured to console 
her by telling her that her distress was the result of 
her sins. 

Why slander God, 0 erring and ignorant woman ? 

Thy woe and weal are according to thine acts. 2 

Though the moon is attached to Shiv's forehead, and 
daily batheth in the Ganges ; 

Though Krishan the avatar of Vishnu became incarnate 
in the moon's family ; 

Yet the stain contracted on account of his misdeeds is 
ineffaceable from his head ; 

Arun, the charioteer, whose lord is the sun, the lamp of 

1 Larke. This phrase is also translated — He who thinketh upon 
his children. The idea apparently is that man ought to think of 
nothing but God in his last moments. 

2 When such is the case, it is no use to rail at God in adversity. 



the earth, whose brother was Garur, the king of birds, was 
born without feet on account of his sins ; 

Shiv, the remover of many sins, the lord of the three 
worlds, wandered to many places of pilgrimage, but never 
reached the end of them : 

The act of cutting off Brahma's head was never effaced 
from his person. 

Although ambrosia, the moon, the all-yielding cow, 
Lakhshmi, the miraculous tree, the steed with seven faces, 
and the physician arose from the ocean, the lord of rivers, 

Yet on account of its deed the brackishness of the ocean 
departeth not ; 

Although Hanuman who burnt the fortress of Lanka and 
uprooted the park of Rawan, took the wound-healing plant 
to Ram Chandar and made him happy, 

Yet, on account of his act of theft the curse that he should 
never have more than a loin-cloth was not effaced from his 

The result of past acts is never effaced, 0 wife of my house ; 
Wherefore repeat for me the name of God ; 
Trilochan repeateth God's name. 1 

1 The following are the allusions in the preceding hymn :— 

The Sursari is the Ganges, so called because it is suron ti sari, the 

river of demigods or divine heroes. It is said to flow from Shiv's 


Krishan belonged to the Chandarbans, or family of the moon. 
Ram Chandar, on the other hand, belonged to the Surajbans, or family 
of the sun. 

The moon fell in love with the wife of Brihaspati, the spiritual guide 
of the gods, and took her away. The dark spot in the moon is said 
to be the stain resulting from this act. In Sanskrit and cognate 
literature the moon is masculine. 

Arun was son of Vinata by Kashyap. Vinata prematurely hatched 
an egg, and the offspring was born without thighs, hence he is called 
Anuru, thighless, or Vipad, footless. He cursed his mother, and 
prayed that, for having brought him forth before the due time, she 
should be a slave to her rival, Kadru. At his mother's earnest 
entreaties, however, he modified the curse, and said that her next son 
would deliver her from bondage. Arun, in later Hindu mythology, 
appears to be the same as the dawn and the charioteer of the sun. 

Garur, or Garuda, Arun's younger brother, was chief of the feathered 
race, and an implacable foe of serpents. In a contest between his 




Parmanand resided at Barsi, north of Pandharpur. 
His era and history are not known. It is said that 
he had the same love and affection for God as the 
milkmaids had for Krishan. In his riper years he 
used to sing the praises of God with the zest of 
a boy of twelve or fourteen years of age, and he 
thus largely contributed to the magnification of 
God's name. The beauty and deeds of Krishan's 
external and internal body were ever present to him, 
so it is no wonder that he sang the graces, the 
splendour, the loveliness, and the pastoral and 
sylvan sports of that great king with all the en- 
thusiasm of earnest faith and devotion. 

Parmanand used to be so absorbed in the love 
and contemplation of God that tears, it is said, 
flowed continually from his eyes, and times without 
number he experienced an alteration and stoppage 
of his voice during his paroxysms of ecstasy. He 

mother and her rival, the latter was successful, and, in accordance with 
conditions previously agreed on, made Vinata her slave. Garur 
brought nectar from heaven to purchase her freedom. Vinata was 
released. The nectar was taken' back by Indar, but recovered by 
Garur. Garur is represented as the vehicle of Vishnu and as having 
a white face, an aquiline nose, red wings, and a golden body. 

Shiv cut off Brahma's head, and it would never leave his hand till 
at last it fell from it at the pilgrimage of Kapalmochan. 

The Rikhi Agast once invited the ocean to a banquet. It failed 
to answer the invitation, whereupon Agast became angry, took the 
ocean in his hand and drank it off. He afterwards voided it as urine, 
and hence its brackishness. 

Ram's brother Lakshman was wounded, and Hanuman, on the 
advice of the physician Sukhen, took the bisalya plant to heal the 

Hanuman, the monkey-god, once plundered a holy man, leaving 
him only a loin-cloth. The holy man cursed him and said : ' Only 
a loin-cloth shall remain with thee also. Thou shalt never be able to 
put on other clothes.' 



used to make seven hundred protestations to God 
daily, often on the muddy road. A merchant once 
offered him a silken cloth to protect his knees. He 
declined the offer and told him to give it to a 
more needy person, as he himself would be satisfied 
with an old cloth instead. This the merchant 
granted him. 

Parmanand defended the utterance of God's name 
as a devotional exercise by saying that prayers are 
often not felt, because while repeating them men's 
minds are apt to wander ; but the continual utter- 
ance of God's name must ever result in heartfelt 

In his hymns Parmanand called himself Sarang, 
by which he meant that he longed for God as the 
sarang or chatrik longs for its yearly raindrops. 

Parmanand' s writings are believed to excessively 
increase men's love for God. It is said to be im- 
possible for one to read them without contemplating 
God or bearing an image of Him in the mind. A 
list of Parmanand's works is given in the Asht 
Chhap or the Eight Marks of the followers of 

The following hymn of Parmanand's composition 
is found in the Granth Sahib. 


0 man, what hast thou done by hearing the Purans ? 

Thou hast performed no steady worship, and not given 
alms to the hungry. 

Lust hast thou not forgotten, wrath hast thou not for- 
gotten, covetousness hath not left thee ; 

Slander hath not left thy lips, and fruitless hath been all 
thy devotion. 

0 sinful man, by highway robbery and house-breaking 
hast thou filled thy belly. 

Thou hast committed the folly from which on thy depar- 
ture to the next world infamy will result. 

G 2 


The desire for the destruction of life did not leave thy 
heart, and thou didst not cherish mercy for living 

Parmanand, thou hast not in the company of holy men 
made current God's pure word. 1 


Sadhna is believed to have been born in Sehwan 
in Sind and to have been a butcher by trade. He 
was a contemporary of Namdev. He embraced a 
religious life by listening to the instructions of holy 
men. Sadhna never killed animals himself, but pur- 
chased those killed by others and then retailed their 
flesh. He wiped out the sins of previous births and 
became purified like fine gold which resists the touch- 
stone. His idol was the salagram or ammonite stone 
worshipped by Hindus. With this he weighed out 
meat to his customers. However much or little 
they required, they received the weight of the sala- 

A Sadhu, or holy man, on seeing the use to which 
the salagram was applied, thought it ought no 
longer to remain with a butcher, and resolved to 
take possession of it. Sadhna gave it up without 
hesitation. After some time, however, the Sadhu 
took back the salagram to Sadhna, and told him 
that, though he had bathed it in the five am- 

1 The first duty inculcated in this hymn is, it will be noted, alms- 
giving. Lust, wrath, covetousness, and slander are to be avoided. 
Highway robbery and house-brealung, which still prevail in India, are 
duly reprobated. The life of no living thing is to be taken. This 
doctrine is accepted by countless Hindus. It has descended to them 
from the earliest ages. The hymn concludes by showing the value of 
good example. The good name suggested as an object is not the 
good name of this world, but the good name which is equivalent to 
the good will of heaven. 



brosias, 1 worshipped it with sandal, sweet basil, and 
so forth, his worship was unacceptable. ' The sala- 
gram is pleased with thee,' said the Sadhu, ' and 
I have sinned by taking it.' By this time, how- 
ever, Sadhna's thoughts took a different turn. He 
became wrapped up in the love of God, abandoned 
everything he possessed, and bent his steps towards 
the forest to enjoy the uninterrupted worship of 

On the way he saw some of his relations at a 
distance. He concealed himself and avoided them 
by taking another route lest any of them should put 
pressure on him to return. On arriving in the 
evening at a village, he went into the house of 
a married man and asked for something to eat. 
The lady of the house on seeing Sadhna young and 
handsome fell in love with him. She prepared 
exquisite food for his repast and induced him to 
stay. At night she proposed to elope with him. 
Sadhna spurned her, and said he would not do such 
a thing even though she were to cut his throat for 
refusing. Understanding by this that, if her hus- 
band's throat were cut, Sadhna would be ready to 
accede to her wishes, she forthwith went and killed 
her husband. On returning to Sadhna she told him 
what she had done, and repeated her immoral pro- 
posal. Sadhna replied, ' O unworthy woman, thou 
hast lost thy reason ; how can I agree to what thou 
proposest ? ' In her despair she raised loud cries 
and invented a false accusation against him : ' I 
believed this person to be a holy man, and accordingly 
entertained him. He hath now killed my husband, 
and made improper overtures to me.' Sadhna was 
arrested and taken before a magistrate. When 
asked what he had to say, he, with the meekness 
and unwillingness to throw blame on others, which 
have characterized so many Hindu saints, pleaded 

1 The Panch amril, or five nectars of the Hindus, are curds, clarified 
butter, honey, Ganges water, and milk. 


guilty to the charge. He thought to himself, ' Since 
God hath placed me in this position, no one will 
accept my denial.' He then composed the following 
hymn : — 

Even though Thou, O God, consign me to hell, I shall 
not dispute it or turn away from it. 

Even though Thou bestow heaven on me, I shall not 
rejoice or praise it. 

If Thou reject me, I cannot constrain Thee ; if Thou 
accept me, I shall not be puffed up with excessive joy. 

He by whom Thou standest shoulder to shoulder is dyed 
with Thee. 

Let him whom Thou orderest cheerfully burn his body. 

My mind desireth not death, yet Thou mayest, if it please 
Thee, put me in the fire. 

What the Beloved desireth ought to be the heart's desire 

The judge sentenced Sadhna to have his hands 
cut off. The punishment was duly carried out, and 
Sadhna was then discharged. He set out without 
a frown on his forehead notwithstanding his bar- 
barous mutilation. 

There is a tradition, which, however, is not found 
in the Bhagat Mai, that the woman who had brought 
the false accusation against Sadhna of having killed 
her husband with the object of abducting her, burned 
herself on her husband's funeral pyre. On seeing 
this Sadhna said, ' No one knoweth the way of 
a woman ; she killeth her husband and becometh 
a Sati.' However this expression originated, it has 
passed into a proverb. 

Sadhna's devotions proved so successful that, it 
is said, new hands then sprouted from his body, 
and he was released from all pain of future birth. 
' So efficacious,' says the author of the Bhagat Mai, 
' is the love of God.' In the Mahabharat it is stated 
that, even were a man to study the four Veds, it 
would not avail him unless he loved God. And 



God said, ' Even though a man be the lowest social 
outcast, yet if he be a saint of Mine, he is dear 
to Me and worthy of worship.' 

There is a legend to the effect that Sadhna became 
the object of further persecution. A king, who was 
probably incensed against him on account of his 
religious opinions, ordered him to procure meat for 
him at an unusual hour of night. Sadhna was 
unable to do so, and the king thereupon ordered 
that he should be put to death by being built alive 
into a wall. While the wall was closing round him, 
Sadhna is said to have composed the following 
hymn in the Bilawal measure : — 

On account of a king's daughter a man assumed the 
disguise of Vishnu, 

For love of her and for his own object ; but his honour 
was saved. 

What merit hast Thou, O Guru of the world, if my sins 
be not erased ? 

What availeth it to enter the asylum of the lion, if he 
allow the jackal 1 to clutch me ? 

For want of a drop of rain the chatrik suffereth agony ; 

When its life is gone, even were an ocean at hand, it 
would be of no avail. 

Now that my life is weary and abideth no longer, how 
shall I be patient ? 

When a man is drowned, even if a boat be obtained, say 
whom shall you put into it ? 

I am nothing, I am nothing, and I have nothing, 

At this conjuncture Thy slave, Sadhna, prayeth Thee to 
protect his honour. 2 

1 The lion here is God, the jackal is the king who sentenced Sadhna 
to death. 

2 The beginning of this hymn alludes to a carpenter's son who, on 
hearing that a king's daughter desired to marry Vishnu, decked himself 
out with Vishnu's four arms, club, lotus, discus, and shell, rode on Vishnu's 
garur, and thus gained the lady's affection. A hostile king was subse- 
quently making war on her father, whereupon she declared she kept 
Vishnu with her and He would save her people. The carpenter's son 


Sadhna's tomb is at Sarhind in the Panjab, but 
the sadhu in charge of it can give no information 
regarding him. 


Beni briefly traces the progress of man's spiritual 
degeneration from the time of birth. 

Owing to the great difficulty of his writings it is 
believed that he is of comparatively ancient date. 
Unfortunately no account of him is accessible. 


0 man, when thou wast in the pit of the womb and didst 
meditate and fix thine earnest attention on God ; 1 

Not proud of the dignity of thy mortal body, thou wast 
day and night free from the pride which is ignorance. 

Recall the travail and great suffering of those days ; 
now thou hast too much extended thy thoughts to worldly 

felt alarmed on the approach of the hostile army to the capital, and 
prayed to Vishnu to save him. Vishnu heard his prayers, caused the 
defeat of the hostile king, and thus saved the country and its people, 
including the lover of the king's daughter. 

Several gyanis analyse the hymn as follows : In the first two lines 
Sadhna addresses God, ' Thou hast saved him, why not me ? ' God 
is supposed to reply, ' This form of death was recorded in thy destiny.' 
Sadhna then repeated the third and fourth lines. God then said that 
He would grant him salvation after death. Sadhna replied with the 
fifth and sixth lines. God then tells him to be of good cheer, after 
which Sadhna replied with the seventh and eighth lines. The ninth 
line is frequently paraphrased — I can do nothing for myself, I have 
no relation and no one to assist me. 

Sadhna founded a sect which does not appear to be numerous now, 
and which is confined to persons of the trade of butcher. The 
particular tenets of the Sadhnapanlhis are nowhere stated, but it is 
probable they simply consist in worshipping Sadhna as an incarnation 
of Vishnu. 

1 Urdh in the Granth Sahib often means God. It may, however, 
be also translated— with body reversed. 



When thou didst leave the womb and enter this perish- 
able world, thou forgottest God. 

Thou shalt afterwards repent, O fool ; through what 
mental perversity hath superstition attached to thee ? 

Remember God ; otherwise thou shalt go to the abode 
of Death ; stray not in other worship. 

A child is anxious for play and sweets ; by degrees its 
worldly love increaseth. 

Under the pretext of its being a sacrifice, 1 man tasteth 
meat as if it were ambrosia, though it is a poison ; then 
the five evil passions appear and torture him. 2 

He abandoneth devotion, penance, self-restraint, and good 
works, and in his heart he worshippeth not God's name. 

His lust overfloweth, blackness attacheth to his heart, 
and he embraceth the strange woman. 

In the ardour of youth he stareth at another's wife, and 
distinguisheth not good from evil. 

In the intoxication of lust and the other great sins he 
goeth astray, and distinguisheth not vice from virtue. 

Beholding his children and his wealth, he is proud and 
forgetteth God in his heart. 

He weigheth in his heart the wealth of some one who 
is dead, then ruineth his life by women and banquets. 

When his hair groweth grey — greyer than the jasmine — 
and his voice becometh feeble ; 3 

When his eyes water, and his intellect and strength 
depart, then his desires are in a whirl. 4 

His mind is defiled by evil passions, and therefore his 
body withereth away like the lotus in the rainy season. 

He who renounceth God's name in this perishable world 
shall afterwards repent. 

Beholding his near relations he muttereth something, and 
is proud of them, but they heed him not. 

1 Medh here means the animal killed in sacrifice. 

2 It must be remembered that this was written by a Vaishnav to 
whom all meat was forbidden. 

3 Literally — as if it proceeded from the seventh nether region. 

4 Literally — the churn of desires is in his heart. 


He desireth the distinction of long life, though his eyes 
see not. 1 

The fire of his body is spent, the bird of his soul hath fled, 
and his corpse is disagreeable whether in the house or the 

Saith Beni, hear me, 0 saints ; who hath obtained salva- 
tion after death ? 2 

Divine instruction is communicated under the 
allegory of hathjog, the most difficult and painful 
form of a Jogi's practice. 

Ram kali 

Unite the breath of the ira, pingla, and sukhmana to- 
gether in one place ; 3 

There is the Beni 4 and Pryag where the three rivers meet ; 
let the soul lave therein. 

0 saints, there is the pure God. 

A few understand this when they go to the guru ; 
There in the brain the Pure One is. 
What are the signs of God's abode ? 
There is played the unbeaten music of the Word. 5 
There nor moon, nor sun, nor wind, nor water is 

He whose conscience is awakened by the guru's instruc- 
tion knoweth this. 

Through him divine knowledge is produced, evil inclina- 
tions depart, 

And ambrosial juice trickleth from the brain. 

He who knoweth the secret of this science, 6 

Shall meet the Primal Divine Guru. 

1 Also translated— His body wasteth away; on seeing somebody 
lie speaketh ; he is proud, but knoweth nothing. 

2 That is, unless man have done good works in life there is no 
means of his salvation. 

3 That is, the brain. 

4 At Priyag there is or was a temple called Beni Madhav. 

5 Not the bells, cymbals, or shells of Hindu worship. 

6 Kala, literally— contrivances. 



The tenth gate is the abode of the inaccessible and un- 
equalled Supreme Being. 

Over the body and on the body is a chamber, 1 and within 
the chamber is the Treasure. 

He who watcheth over this shall never fall asleep ; 

The three qualities and the three worlds shall vanish for 
him in contemplation ; 

He shall hold the Source 2 of all spells in his heart, 

And turning back his mind from the world, fix it on 
heaven ; 

He shall be wakeful and not utter a lie, 
And shall keep the five organs of perception in subjection ; 
He shall treasure the guru's instruction in his heart, 
And devote his soul and body to God's love ; 
He shall meditate on the leaves and branches of his 
body, 3 

And not lose his life in gambling ; 4 
He shall tie up the sphincter ani, 

Turn his breath towards his back, and raise it to the brain. 

When he restraineth his breath difficult of restraint, 5 
nectar trickleth forth, 

And he converseth with the Lord of the world. 

In the tenth gate is the light of a four-faced lamp 6 to 
behold all things ; 

There are endless petals of the lotus, 7 and its cup is in 
the centre ; 

God dwelleth there with all His power. 

Let man string the precious jewel of God's name within 
him — 

He hath a lotus in his brain and gems 8 around it ; 

1 The brain. 2 That is, God. 

3 Explained by the gyanis to mean the veins and muscles of the 
body. It is to the upper and lower limbs the word branches is applied 
in Hindu anatomy. — Dr. Hoernle. 4 That is, in vice. 

8 Literally — when he has endured unendurable things. 

6 A lamp with four wicks to give a bright light. Divine knowledge 
is meant. 

7 The mystics suppose that the brain contains a lotus flower, within 
which God dwells. 

8 The leaves of the lotus. 


In the centre is the Spotless One, the Lord of the three 
worlds ; 

The five species of musical instruments are clearly 
heard ; 

Chauris appear to wave and a shell to reverberate like 
thunder — 

The pious by divine knowledge trample on their evil 
passions. 1 

Beni beggeth Thy name, 0 Lord, since the practice of Jog 
is profitless. 


The following was addressed to a hypocritical 
Brahman : — 

Thou rubbest sandal on thy body, and puttest leaves on 
thy forehead, 2 

But thou hast a murderous knife in thy heart. 

Thou lookest on people like a thag, and watchest them 
like a crane looking for fish. 

The life of the Vaishnav when he seeth thee escapeth 
through his mouth. 3 

Thou bowest daily to the beautiful idol of Vishnu for 
a long time ; 

With the evil eye art thou affected, and at night thou 
quarrellest ; 4 
Thou ever bathest thy body ; 

Thou hast two dhotis, 5 thou ostensibly performest thy 
religious duties, and livest on milk alone, 

But in thy heart thou hast a knife to stab with. 
It is thy custom to plunder the property of others. 

1 Dain/, literally — demons. 

2 To appear to have renounced the world. 

3 The Vaishnav abstains from meat, and dies on seeing thee bent 
on deeds of blood. The verse is also translated — Thou lookest like 
a Vaishnav whose soul hath escaped from his body. 

4 Over the division of the offerings. Possibly, however, badan 
(quarrel) is for baman (woman) which would rhyme with chiraman in 
the preceding line. If baman be read, the translation will be — Thou 
lookest severely on women by day, but by night thou lovest them. 

5 So as to have a change after bathing. 



Thou adorest a stone, and in the worship of Kali makest 
a circle for Ganesh. 1 

Thou watchest at night so that men may think thou hast 
entered on God's service ; 

With thy feet dost thou dance, but thy heart meditateth 
evil — 

0 sinner, thy dancing is wicked — 
Thou sittest on a deer-skin, and earnest a rosary of sweet 
basil ; 

Thou puttest a showy tilak on thy forehead ; 
In thy heart is falsehood, though thou wearest a neck- 
lace 2 on thy neck. 
O sinner, thou repeatest not God's name. 
All that man's worship is vain, and he is blind 
Who hath not recognized the Supreme God. 
Saith Beni, meditate on God by the guru's instruction ; 
Without a true guru the way is not found. 


A short account of Ramanuj appears to be neces- 
sary to explain the doctrines of Ramanand, and the 
progress of Hindu religious reform in India. Swami 
Ramanuj 3 flourished in the eleventh century of the 
Christian era. He was born in the village of 
Bhutnagari, also called Perumbhudur, south-east 
of Kanchipur, the modern Kanjeveram, in the 

1 According to the Tanlar Shasiar, there must be four circles for 
Kali's attendant divinities, Ganesh, Kshetarpal, Bhairav, and Yogini. 

2 Rudrakhan, the Sanskrit rudraksh. A necklace made of the 
berries of the eleocarpus. This is generally worn by the worshippers 
of Shiv. It is the followers of Vishnu who carry rosaries of sweet 

3 The author is indebted to Mr. L. Rice of Bangalore for some 
valuable notes on the life of Ramanuj. 


Madras Presidency, in the year a.d. 1017 during the 
reign of Betawardhan, King of Dwar Samudra 
in the Maisur (Mysore) state. The date of his birth 
is attested by the Sanskrit chronogram dhirlabdha, 
a word which yields the date 939 of the Saka era, 
and means that men received patience or consola- 
tion at his birth. Ramanuj's father was Keshav 
Jajjwa, a Brahman said to be of the illustrious 
race of Harit, the spiritual and literary king of the 
Rikhis. His mother was called Kantimati. For 
a long time she was childless. Her husband 
prayed to heaven for a son when, it is said, 
a god appeared to him and told him his desire 
should be granted. To effect this, it is related 
that Sheshnag, the wise serpent, which according 
to the Hindus supports the earth, became incarnate 
as Ramanuj. 

On the mother's side also Ramanuj belonged to 
an intellectual family, for it was his mother's brother 
Yadav Acharya, 1 who was Ramanuj's first pre- 
ceptor and taught him the principles of the Hindu 
religion as expounded in the Simritis. Ramanuj 
became an apt pupil, and at a very early age- 
mastered the Veds and the Shastars. While pur- 
suing his studies he delighted to sit under a tamarind 
tree near Perumbhudur, which is still worshipped by 
his followers. 

Ramanuj propounded new opinions with refer- 
ence to the relation between the Creator and his 
creatures. He refuted the theories of the famous 
Shankar Acharya who was a Vedantist, and he 
began to inculcate the superiority of the worship 
of Vishnu to that of Shiv, the principal object of 
worship in southern India. 

Ramanuj exorcised an evil spirit, of which the 
daughter of the king of Kanchipur had become 
possessed. The king was well pleased and gave 

1 Some followers of Ramanuj deny that Yadav Acharya was his uncle. 



him munificent remuneration. Finding the king in 
a mood to listen to his teaching, he preached to 
him the advantages of the Vaishnav doctrines. His 
superior intellectual attainments and his success 
in everything to which he turned his attention 
excited the jealousy of his preceptor, who formed 
a plot to take him on a pilgrimage to Banaras, and 
secretly drown him in the Ganges. Ramanuj was 
saved from this fate by the timely information 
received from his aunt's son. 1 

Ramanuj for a considerable time worshipped an 
idol called Bardraj, the tutelary deity of Kanchipur. 
Desirous to extend his theological studies, and 
thoroughly distrustful of his uncle, he went to Sri 
Rang Nath, the modern Srirangam at the parting of 
the rivers Kavari and Kolarun, near Trichinoply, to 
visit Yamun Acharya, the great representative of 
the Sri sect, and obtain initiation from him and 
adoption as his disciple. Unfortunately Yamun 
Acharya had died before the arrival of Ramanuj. 
The latter then put himself under the tutelage of 
Mahapuran, Yamun Acharya's disciple and successor. 
He subsequently became the disciple of Goshtipuran, 
who sent him back eighteen times before he was 
satisfied of h : s fitness for initiation. 

Nabhaji, writing from a Vaishnav standpoint, 
enumerates four great sects of Hindus, the Sri, the 
Shiv, the Brahma, and the Sankadik. The members 
of the Sri sect worship Vishnu under the form 
of his energy or consort Lakshmi. Indeed, it is said 
that Vishnu himself taught the proper form of his 
worship to Lakshmi, and she handed it down in 
a direct line to Ramanuj. 

Ramanuj continued his studies with ardour at 
Sri Rang Nath, and there composed his commen- 
taries on the Sutras of Vyas and other Vedic works. 

1 Nabhaji's Bhagat Mai and also Maharaja Raghuraj Sinh's 
Bhagat Mai. Some believe the lady whom Ramanuj cured was the 
daughter of Dwarsamudar. 


When past fifty years of age he left his family and 
devoted himself to the salvation of his fellow men. 
Mahapuran had communicated to him the spell by 
which God's protection might be obtained, and told 
him that whoever heard it should be saved from 
the pain of transmigration. At the same time he 
informed Ramanuj that he was never to disclose 
the secret. Ramanuj pondered on the prohibition, 
and came to the conclusion that it was on every 
account proper to divulge to men the secret of 
salvation, even though he were to suffer eternal 
punishment for the disclosure. He accordingly went 
from place to place repeating with a loud voice the 
spell of human deliverance. He made pilgrimages 
to Triputi, Jagannath, and Banaras, and having 
successfully preached the Vaishnav doctrines at 
these holy places erected buildings for worship at 
them all. From Banaras he proceeded to Badri- 
nath in the Himalayas, where he did homage to 
Vishnu under his dual form of Nar Narayan. He 
is said to have made converts by thousands and 
tens of thousands. 

In the Prapann Amrit, a Sanskrit work devoted 
to Ramanuj and his doctrines, it is stated that in 
the month of Poh in the year 1012 of the Salava- 
hana era, corresponding to 1090 of the Christian 
era, he dedicated an idol to God under the name 
of Narayan at a place called Yadavachala. 1 

The chroniclers disclose the extent to which 
religious zeal and its allies, religious bigotry and 
persecution, even then prevailed in India. The 
Chola king Karikala, called Krimi Kantha on 
account of some affection of the throat from which 
he suffered, was a bigoted worshipper of Shiv, and 
held the doctrines of the Sri sect in devout abhor- 
rence. He engaged in controversy with Mahapuran, 
Ramanuj 's religious guide, and Kruresh, a disciple 
of Ramanuj. The monarch on being vanquished in 

1 Prapann Amrit, Bombay edition. 



argument resorted to physical force for revenge, and 
put out the eyes of his antagonists. Mahapuran 
died in a few days, but Kruresh survived and sub- 
sequently rendered Ramanuj invaluable service in 
the dissemination of his doctrines. 

Ramanuj himself, in order to escape from the fury 
of Krimi Kantha, took shelter in the court of Bitta 
or Vitala Deva, the Jain monarch of Dwar Samudra 
in the Maisur state, who reigned from a.d. 1104 to 
1141. 1 After a controversy with Ramanuj the king 
changed his faith and sought the protection of God 
in his teachings. Filled with new zeal he changed 
his name also to Vishnu Vardhana and set to 
work to convert his numerous subjects, who are 
stated to have been all of the Jain religion. Most 
of them were converted, but some fled, and the 
rest the monarch piously put to the sword. In 
A. d. 1117 the king erected the Belur temple in 
commemoration of his conversion to Vaishnavism 
by Ramanuj. 

Ramanuj fearing for his own safety in his native 
country and pleased with the holy zeal, friendship, 
and protection of the Maisur king, resided at his 
capital for twelve years, during which time he 
induced him to erect a temple to Krishan at Mailkot. 
Here Ramanuj continued to preach his doctrines, 
and made numerous converts among the Brahmans, 
whom he withdrew from their allegiance to Shiv. 

Ramanuj 's religious teachings began to be adopted 
at Purushotampuri, the modern Jagannath, then as 
now one of the greatest strongholds of the Hindu 
religion. His rules for daily life, however, were of 
a very exclusive character, and such as could hardly 

1 Bitta Deva was king of the Hoysalas who lived on the west of the 
present Maisur state. Bitta Deva's dynasty ruled Maisur from the 
eleventh to the fourteenth century. Their capital was Dwarsamudar, 
now Halebid, in the Belur district. The Cholas and their king lived 
to the east of the Hoysalas. The Hoysala kings were Jains up to 
the time of Bitta Deva. — Rice's Mysore. 



have been expected from a man who fearlessly 
disclosed to the world the secrets of salvation. He 
enjoined the utmost attention to cleanliness in 
cooking and eating, an injunction which must be 
commended on sanitary grounds, but he made 
regulations concerning dress, salutation, and sacri- 
ficial marks of too strict a character for general 
observance. For instance, his followers cooked for 
themselves, and ate in the greatest privacy after 
bathing. On one point in particular he laid the 
greatest stress : If the sight or shadow of any 
person fell upon the food of a follower of his, it 
was to be immediately rejected. He believed that 
purity of thought could only be attained by eating 
food not seen by others. Nabhaji states that the 
strict culinary rules of Ramanuj were not made for 
caste purposes, but for the glory of God and purity 
of worship. 

Such teaching naturally met with opposition. It 
can easily be gathered that Jagannath became too 
dangerous a place for Ramanuj to permanently 
reside in, and he escaped at night to pursue his 
missionary career in other lands. He is said to 
have had ten thousand followers, seventy-four of 
whom were specially devoted to their teacher. 
These seventy-four, however, each put a different 
interpretation on his doctrines, and accordingly 
established as many sects of their own. Ramanuj 
died at Sriranganath at the age of one hundred and 
twenty years. The chronogram dharmonashta or the 
destruction of religion, gives the date of his death as 
1059 of the Shaka era, corresponding to a.d. 1137. 

The mantra or words of initiation of the sect 
consists of eight letters, and is communicated in 
a secret whisper by the teacher to his disciple. The 
proclamation of the mantra was made by Ramanuj 
from the loftiest gopura, known as the white gopura, 
or ornamental gateway of the temple at Srirangam. 
The motto of members of their order is ' Ramanuj- 



assya daso asmi' I am a slave of Ramanuj The 
head is slightly inclined and the hands are joined 
and applied to the forehead for the purposes of 
salutation. The sacrificial marks of the sect are 
several. On the forehead there are two vertical 
streaks made with a calcareous clay called gopi- 
chandan. Within them is a vertical red streak made 
of turmeric and lime. The white streaks are con- 
nected over the nose by a transverse streak which 
admits of several varieties. The usual marks on 
the forehead are as follow ; — \jj [±J, to denote that 
body, tongue, and mind should be kept under subjec- 
tion. On the breast and upper arms Ramanuj is 
make white patches in which they enclose red streaks. 
The several marks represent the shell, quoit, club, 
and lotus carried in the four hands of Vishnu, and 
the central streak of red represents his consort or 
energy Lakshmi. It is piously believed that persons, 
no matter of what caste, who apply these marks to 
their foreheads are after their departure from this 
life not molested by Death's ministers. The sect 
besides venerate the salagram stone and the sweet 
basil flower as indispensable adjuncts of worship. 

The followers of Ramanuj believe that Vishnu is 
the supreme Being, that he existed before all worlds, 
and was the Creator of all things. Creation origi- 
nated in his desire to multiply himself and was 
formed from his material essence. This essence, 
however manifested, is pervaded by a portion of 
his vitality which again is distinct from his spiritual 
essence, as God the spirit and matter are all dis- 
tinct. Like the propounders of other religious 
systems, Ramanuj found himself in a difficulty 
between pantheism and anthropomorphism. Vishnu 
pervades all creation. Vishnu and the universe are 
one, but at the same time Vishnu is not devoid of 
form, and he is endowed with all good qualities. 
Vishnu has manifested himself to men in several 
human and other incarnations. He is present in 

H 2 


objects of worship, and may be adored by the 
purification of temples and idols, by the presenta- 
tion of flowers and perfumes, by counting rosaries 
and repeating his name and that of his. energy or 
consort Lakshmi, and finally by the practice of Jog. 
The reward of such devotion is release from all 
transmigration throughout eternity. 

Several temples were erected in Ramanuj's 
honour, the principal of which are at Jadari, Galata, 
Ahobal, and Rewasa. In the famous fort of Sriran- 
gapatam, also, a temple sacred to Ramanuj is pointed 
out to visitors: 

Ramanuj wrote several works, the principal of 
which are the Sri Ramanuj Bhashya, the Gita 
Bhashya, the Vedaratha Sangraha, the Vedanta 
difta, the Vedanta Sar, and the Dhartn Sanhita. 1 

Ram an and, a Gaur Brahman, was born at Mailkot, 
where Ramanuj had set up an idol of Vishnu and 
induced the Brahmans to renounce their devotion 
to Shiv. Very little is known of Ramanand's life. 
Only a page and a half is devoted to it in Nabhaji's 
Bhagat Mai, where he is compared to Ram, and 
made an incarnation of God come down from heaven 
to save the world. 

The Ramanandis make it a special point to keep 
all details of their sect and its founder a profound 
secret. All the works that we have been able to 
obtain relating to Ramanand have been for the 
most part devoted to his praise. We give here such 
details of his life as have been gleaned from acces- 
sible sources. 

Nabhaji makes Ramanand the fourth in spiritual 

1 Besides the Prapann Amril, the principal authorities for the life 
of Ramanuj are the Bhagal Mai (Hindi), the Divya Charitar (Kana- 
rese), the Bharat Khanda cha aravachin kosh (Marathi), and the 
Kabi Charitar (Gujrati). 

For a further account of Ramanuj's doctrines and followers see Sir 
Monier Williams's Brahmanism and Hinduism- 



descent from Ramanuj. Allowing a third of a 
century as an average period of incumbency for 
each religious teacher, Ramanand must have 
flourished in the end of the fourteenth and the first 
half of the fifteenth century. This corresponds too 
with another reckoning which may be employed as 
a chronological test. The great religious reformer 
Kabir, of whom we shall presently have much to 
say, was according to all documentary and tradi- 
tional evidence a disciple of Ramanand. Now the 
followers of Kabir say that the year A. D. 1908 is 
the 510th of his era. His birth therefore, according 
to them, took place in the year a. d. 1398, a date 
which may be unhesitatingly accepted. We are 
thus able to fix Ramanand's approximate epoch. 

Ramanand like Ramanuj originally imbibed the 
Hindu doctrines enunciated in the Simritis, in 
which he had been instructed by a hermit. He 
subsequently adopted the reformed principles of 
Ramanuj and became a prominent member of the 
Sri sect. It is related that Ramanand, while still 
a worshipper according to the Simritis, was one day 
gathering flowers in a garden when he saw Swami 
Raghwanand, a follower of Ramanuj. Raghwanand 
asked him if he knew anything of his own state, 
but, before he had time to answer, told him that 
he had reached the end of his life, and exhorted 
him to seek the protection of God at the last hour. 
Ramanand went and informed his hermit tutor of 
the message he had received. The hermit and his 
pupil proceeded to Raghwanand and besought his 
divine intercession. The great Swami took com- 
passion on Ramanand, and by his skill in the arduous 
practice of Jog suspended at the critical moment 
Ramanand's life breath in the tenth gate of his 
body. The time fixed by destiny for Ramanand's 
death having thus passed, Raghwanand bestowed 
on him the coveted boon of a protracted life. 

Ramanand served the Swami for some time, and 


then went on a pilgrimage to Badrikashram, the 
modern Badri Narain in the Himalayas, and other 
places. In the course of his wanderings he visited 
Banaras, and lived at the ghat called Panch Ganga, 
where his sandals were preserved at the time of 
the composition of Nabhaji's Bhagat Mai. 

It is certain that Ramanand came in contact at 
Banaras with learned Musalmans, for by that time 
there had been several conquests of India under the 
flag of the Prophet of Makka. It is natural to 
suppose that there should have been held at the 
ancient sacred city of the Hindus heated contro- 
versies between Mullas and Brahmans, and that the 
better informed classes, of Hindus, who had already 
shown a predilection for monotheism, should have 
formed a just conception of the divine unity. We 
shall afterwards see how some of the followers of 
Ramanand at Banaras became fervent monotheists, 
and at the same time ridiculed the priestcraft of 
the Mullas and the Brahmans. 

Being far from members of his own religious 
persuasion, Ramanand was now free to form his 
own ideas and speculations on religion, and he laid 
aside among other previous articles of belief several 
of the cumbrous social and caste observances of the 
Sri sect. When he returned after long absence to 
Raghwanand, his co-religionists and those who had 
previously lived with him interrogated him as to his 
observance of caste rules since his departure from 
them. It was found that his theological belief had 
altered in some respects, and that he had relaxed 
the severe culinary rules of Ramanuj. 

It is an ordinary practice of Hindu priests when 
they lay food before an idol to draw a screen over 
both the idol and the food. When sufficient time 
according to human ideas is allowed the idol for 
its consumption, the screen is withdrawn. The 
followers of Ramanuj observe the same practice, 
but have added to it a stern injunction that, if any 



one but the person cooking see the idol's food, it 
must be immediately rejected. The followers of 
Ramanuj consider attention to such matters one of 
the most important elements of divine worship. 

Ramanand did not adopt this view. Like another 
great Teacher he could not understand what con- 
cern culinary rules had with the worship of God; 1 
and he must have freely given vent to his feelings, 
though his expressions have not been preserved. 
His sect promptly expelled him, but his religious 
guide Raghwanand appears to have felt some sym- 
pathy with him, for he authorized him to found 
a sect of his own, which he accordingly did. The 
theological tenets of the new faith corresponded to 
some extent with those of Ramanuj, except that 
Sita and Ram instead of Lakshmi and Narayan 
became special objects of Ramanand's worship, and 
the culinary and kindred rules of the Ramanuj is 
were generously relaxed. 

Ramanand then applied himself to prove from 
the Shastars that the observance of caste rules was 
unnecessary for any one who sought the protection 
of God and embraced his service. He laid it down 
as a rule that all persons of any caste who accepted 
the tenets and principles of his sect, might eat and 
drink together irrespective of birth. All men who 
serve God in the same way are brothers and of the 
same social position. Contrary to the practice of 
Ramanuj, who had enforced a discipline too strict 
for ordinary mortals, Ramanand threw his spiritual 
door wide open, admitted disciples of all castes, and 
boldly announced that gyan, or knowledge of God, 
emancipated man from all social bondage. 

It is written in Nabhaji's Bhagat Mai that even 
a low caste man who loves God is superior to a 
Brahman who, although irreproachable in his acts, 
possesses no love for the Creator. An instance of 

1 ' Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man ; but that 
which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.' 


this is cited. At the great feast given by Yut 
dhishtar to commemorate the victory of the Pan- 
da vs over the Kauravs, the festal bell would 
not ring spontaneously at the appointed time. 
Krishan, who attended the banquet, inquired if any 
person had failed to receive his share of the viands. 
He was informed that food had not been served to 
Valmik because he was a Chandal, and, as a hunts- 
man, destroyer of life. Krishan then ordered that 
Valmik should be seated in the midst of the assem- 
blage, and that Draupadi, the fractional wife 1 of 
Yudhishtar, should feed him with her own hands. 
This she accordingly did, and the festal bell 
pealed forth struck by no earthly hands. 

Ramanand was distinguished for his kindness to 
others and his love of God. He pointed out the 
way of the Lord to men of the four castes and the 
four conditions of life. 2 He deemed forms of adora- 
tion superfluous, and held that the supreme reward 
of devotion was to be obtained by incessantly 
uttering God's name. He called his disciples the 
Liberated, when he allowed them and they accepted 
a liberal interpretation of the Hindu social rules 
sanctioned by religion. At the same time he 
vehemently opposed atheists and those who boasted 
that they existed independently of God. He van- 
quished in argument the Jains, the Budhists, and 
the followers of the left way, 3 whose devotions were 
not addressed to the supreme Lord of the world. 

1 At that time polyandry was in force. Draupadi was wife of the 
whole five Pandav brothers, one of whom was Yudhishtar. 

2 Brahmans, Kshatris, and Vaisyas ought, according to ancient 
Hindu writings, to be, first, Brahmacharis, practising celibacy and 
devoting their lives to study and religious exercises; secondly, gri- 
haslhis, or married men leading secular lives ; thirdly, banparaslhis, or 
anchorets, when their wives might accompany them and they might live 
on forest fruit, tubers, and roots; and fourthly, sanyasis, completely 
renouncing the world and subsisting altogether on alms. 

3 Vamis or Vamacharis. For some account of them see Professor 
H. H. Wilson's Essays on the Religion of the Hindus, Vol. I. 

SIKH VI P. 105 



Ramanand, having forsaken the cares of the world, 
gave himself up to vairag or renunciation of all 
worldly things, and thus became the first Bairagi. 
He had four disciples, from each of whom arose four 
sects composed of Nagas, who are purely ascetic 
and practise seclusion, and Samayogis, who marry 
and lead domestic lives. Both orders may eat 
together. They mostly belong to the Sudar class, 
but some wear the triple cord of the twice-born 
Hindus, and style themselves Gaur Brahmans who 
had their origin in the north of India. 

It is said that Ramanand at Ganga Sagar — at 
the mouth of the Hughli branch of the Ganges — 
discovered a temple sacred to Kapila, an incarna- 
tion of Vishnu and author of the Sankhya Shastars. 
A fair is annually held there at the time of the 
winter solstice. 

The disciples of Ramanand were, according to 
Nabhaji, Anantanand, Sureshwaranand, Sukhanand, 
Bhawanand, Pipa, Sain, Dhanna, Ravdas, Kabir, 
and others. Ramanand died at Banaras at an 
advanced age. 

Most of the present followers of Ramanand appear 
to have completely fallen away from his teaching, 
and observe caste rules with the utmost strictness. 
As far as their tenets are concerned, they appear 
to have become hopelessly confused with the Rama- 
nujis, and to differ only in their sectarial marks 
and their preference for Sita and Ram to Lakshmi 
and Narayan as objects of worship. 

The following is the hymn of Ramanand found 
in the Granth Sahib. An invitation had been given 
him to attend a religious service of Vishnu, to which 
he replied : — 


Whither shall I go, Sir ? I am happy at home. 

My heart will not go with me ; it hath become a cripple. 1 

1 Compare the use of the word mancus by Horace. 


One day I did have an inclination to go ; 
I ground sandal, took distilled aloe wood and many 

Arid was proceeding to worship God in a temple, 

When my spiritual guide showed me God in my heart. 

Wherever I go / find only watei or stones. 1 

But Thou, 0 God, art equally contained in everything. 

The Veds and the Purans all have I seen and searched. 

Go thou thither, if God be not here. 

0 true guru, I am a sacrifice unto thee 

Who hast cut away all my perplexities and doubts. 

Ramanand's Lord is the all-pervading God ; 

The guru's word cutteth away millions of sins. 


Dhanna, generally known as Dhanna Jat, is said to 
have been born in the year a. d. 1415. He lived in 
the village of Dhuan in Tank territory, about twenty 
miles from the Deoli cantonments in Rajputana. 
A religious bent was given to his genius from his 
earliest years. A Brahman went to his parents' 
house to worship. On seeing the ceremonials, 
Dhanna asked for an idol so that he too might 
worship on his own account in imitation of the 
Brahman. The Brahman at first put him off with 
excuses, but, when Dhanna further importuned, 
he handed him a small black stone for his youthful 
devotion. Dhanna took it up, applied it to his eyes 
and head, and began to worship it in imitation of the 
Brahman. The ceremony observed was this :— 
Dhanna first bathed himself, then bathed the stone, 
and put on it a tilak or patch made from the mud 

1 Rivers of pilgrimage or idols. 

2 For some local inquiries made regarding Dhanna we are indebted 
to Colonel E. R. Penrose, Cantonment Magistrate of Deoli. 



of a neighbouring tank. He had no sweet basil dear 
to gods and idols, but he offered green leaves instead, 
and then performed the customary devotional 
homage and prostration. 1 

When Dhanna's mother brought him bread he 
put it in front of the idol, and shutting his eyes 
sat down hard by He waited long in hope that 
the idol would eat, but, on finding that it would 
not, became sad and distressed. He repeatedly 
clasped his hands in supplication, and, when that 
form of inducement proved unavailing, began to 
ply the idol with boyish flatteries At last, when 
all failed, he threw the bread into the tank, by 
which he meant to clearly show the idol that if it 
did not eat it, he would not eat it himself. Some 
days passed in this way until Dhanna was well- 
nigh dead from weakness produced by thirst and 
hunger. At last the Brahman, anxious to confer 
a blessing on the youthful saint, appeared to him 
and urged him to satisfy his appetite. Dhanna did 
so and revived to pursue his devotions with even 
greater fervour than before. 

The Brahman again paid Dhanna a visit, and on 
seeing his progress towards spiritual perfection pros- 
trated himself before him and shed tears of love. 
By Dhanna's contemplation, worship, and repetition 
of the Name, God was gladdened, and the Brahman, 
through Dhanna's devotion, obtained, it was said, the 
object of his desires both in this world and the next. 

Dhanna was supernaturally directed to go to 
Banaras and receive the spell of initiation from 
Ramanand. He accordingly did so. Ramanand 
on seeing his purity of heart and devotion, recog- 
nized him as a great saint and apostle, and duly 
initiated him as a disciple. In due time Rama- 

1 Before adoration the Hindus perform a ceremony called pran 
pralishia, which consists, as they believe, in infusing life into the idol. 
In this the idolatry of the Hindus appears to differ from that of other 


nand, having enjoined the service of the saints on 
him as a special duty, dismissed him with every 
token of love and respect, and Dhanna on reaching 
his home duly followed his spiritual guide's injunc- 

One day, as Dhanna was taking wheat to sow, 
he met some holy men who urged their neces- 
sities. Accordingly, he bestowed his seed-wheat on 
them. God, on seeing Dhanna's charity to his 
saints, said, He who casteth corn in the ground 
expecteth a return several times greater. Now 
Dhanna putteth corn into the mouths of My saints, 
so I must give him a thousandfold return.' Dhanna's 
field accordingly flourished so much better than the 
fields of his neighbours that it became the subject 
of general congratulation. Dhanna thought the 
congratulations were merely jeers and jests, until 
one day he paid a visit to his field. Then he found 
that what people had been saying was really true. 
He became absorbed in the love of God, and re- 
doubled his devotion to Him and His saints. His 
land is still called Dhanne Bhagat ka khet, or Saint 
Dhanna's field. It is said that the black stone of his 
youthful worship was subsequently embedded in one 
of the walls of his temple. 

Nabhaji concludes his account of Dhanna with 
the following invocation : — 'O God Indar, how pru- 
dent and wise art thou who madest thy thunderbolt 
out of the bones of Dadhich, king of the Rikhis ! 
Why hast thou not lifted up and taken away this 
wretched heart of mine which is millions of times 
harder than adamant, since it is not in the slightest 
degree softened on reading the story of Dhanna and 
hearing of God's kindness, love, and affection for 
His saints ? ' 

Though Dhanna began life as an idolater, it is 
clear from the following hymn that he became in 
riper years a worshipper of the one God, and re- 
nounced all superstitious practices. 




In Gobind, Gobind, Gobind was Namdev's heart absorbed ; 

A calico-printer worth half a dam became worth a lakh. 

Abandoning weaving and stretching thread, Kabir devoted 
his love to God's feet ; 

Though a weaver of low family he obtained untold virtues. 

Rav Das who used to remove dead cattle, abandoned 
worldly affairs, 

Became distinguished, and in the company of the saints 
obtained a sight of God. 

Sain, barber and village drudge, 1 well known in every 

In whose heart the Supreme God dwelt, is numbered 
among the saints. 

Having heard all this I, a Jat, applied myself to God's 
service ; 

I have met God in person 2 and great is the good fortune 
of Dhanna. 3 

The following hymns of Dhanna afford abundant 
additional evidence that he by further study and 
meditation embraced a purer form of worship than 
that of his early youth. After a confessedly sinful 
life Dhanna met the guru, who united him with 

Wandering and roaming many births have passed away ; 
my body, mind, and fortune 4 remain not constant. 

Attached to and stained with the sins of covetousness and 
lust, I have forgotten God, the diamond. 

The fruit of sin is sweet to the demented mind ; it 
knoweth not excellent meditation. 

My love, turning in a different direction from virtue, 
increaseth, and I again weave the web of birth and death. 

1 Butkaria, from built, forced labour. 

2 Partahh, the Latin praesens. 

3 In the Granth Sahib this hymn is headed Mahala V, under which 
the compositions of Guru Arjan are included, but there appears no 
doubt that it was Dhanna's composition. 

4 Dkan, literally — wealth. It is very likely this word is an expletive. 


I did not know the way of recognizing Him who dwelleth 
in the heart ; 1 I burned in the fire of worldly love and fell 
into Death's noose. 

I collected so many fruits of sin and filled my heart with 
them, that I forgot God the Supreme Being. 

When the guru caused the wealth of divine knowledge to 
enter me, I meditated on God, and accepted in my heart 
that He was One. 

I have embraced the love and service of God and known 
comfort ; I am satiated and satisfied, and have obtained 

He in whose heart God's light which filleth creation is 
contained, recognizeth God who cannot be deceived. 

Dhanna hath obtained God 2 as his wealth ; 3 meeting 
with saints he hath become absorbed in Him. 

God is the universal Preserver. 

0 my heart, why thinkest thou not of the God of mercy ? 
Why ignorest thou not all besides ? 

Wert thou to run through the universe and the continents 
of the earth, it would not avail thee ; only what the Creator 
doeth cometh to pass. 

He who made the body with its ten gates in the water of 
its mother's womb, 

Nourisheth it and preserveth it in its fiery home ; such 
a Lord is ours. 

The female tortoise liveth in the water ; its young remain 
on land ; they have no mother's wings to shelter them, and 
no milk to drink, 

Yet God, the All-pervading, the Primal Joy, the Delightful 
feedeth them ; understand this in thy heart. 

A worm is embedded in a stone, and there is no exit for it : 

Saith Dhanna, God filleth it ; O my soul, fear not. 

Dhanna in order to maintain himself while en- 

1 Also translated— The manner of knowing God did not enter my 

2 Dharnidhar, literally — the Sustainer of the earth. 

3 Dhan, the saint puns on the similarity of the word to his own 



gaged in his devotions prays for the means of sub- 


O God, I Thine afflicted servant come to Thee : — 
Thou arrangest the affairs of those who perform Thy 

Dal, flour, 1 and ghi I beg of Thee 

So shall my heart be ever happy. 

Shoes and good clothes, 

The seven sorts of corn, 2 1 beg of Thee. 

Milch cows and buffaloes I beg ; 

A good Turkistani mare, 

And a good wife, 

The slave Dhanna beggeth of Thee. 3 


Pipa, born in the year a.d. 1425, was king of a 
state called Gagaraungarh. He possessed every 
spiritual excellence and conferred happiness and 
saintship on the human race. 

1 By sidha, literally, uncooked food given to fakirs, is generally 
meant flour. Some read sindha, which means rock salt. 

2 Anaj sat sika is the same as satnaja, 'a mixture of seven kinds of 
grain bestowed on a caste of people called Dakaunt on certain occasions, 
for the benefit of a person who is supposed to be under the evil 
influence of some planet, the grain being equal in weight to the body 
of the person.' — The Ludhiana Panjabi Dictionary. 

Anaj sat sika is also translated — corn grown on a field ploughed 
seven times, called in Panjabi sat sian lanian. 

3 As asking God for worldly favours is deemed inconsistent with 
the saintly character, the gyanis have exercised their ingenuity in 
finding one or more fanciful meanings for almost every substantive in 
the above hymn. For instance, dal is made the subjection of the 
passions, sidha, or flour, is rectitude, ghi is God's love, &c, &c. 
They who choose may adopt such interpretations. It must be re- 
membered, however, that Dhanna was a husbandman, and for the 
sake of his calling and livelihood, to say nothing of his devotions, 
generally needed what he prayed for. 


Pipa had been at first a worshipper of Durga, the 
consort of Shiv. Some holy men came to his capital, 
and he with his usual generosity and devotion 
ministered to all their wants. They then prepared 
food, offered it to God, and prayed that the king 
might become a saint. At night he had a vision 
in which a holy man, who took an interest in his 
welfare, appeared to him and said, ' How foolish 
thou art who turnest away from God and yet askest 
for pardon ! ' From that moment he desired nothing 
but the service of God. All the things of this world 
appeared to him to have no reality. 

It is said that the goddess subsequently appeared 
to him. Pipa prostrated himself before her, and 
asked her how he could serve God. She told 
him to go and take Ramanand as his spiritual 
guide. After this highly disinterested advice the 
goddess disappeared. Pipa manifested such a pas- 
sionate desire to see Ramanand that his friends 
apprehended he would lose his reason. At last he 
went to Banaras, where he had heard Ramanand 
resided. The great swami on hearing of Pipa's 
arrival expressed his surprise and sent him a message, 
' My house is a place for faqirs. What business 
have kings here ? ' 

On Ramanand's refusal to receive him Pipa re- 
turned home, and bestowed his wealth on the poor. 
He again appeared before Ramanand, and said he had 
now become a faqir. Ramanand in order to test 
his sincerity told him to throw himself into a 
well. Without further reflection Pipa proceeded 
to do so, but Ramanand's disciples restrained him. 
They brought him back to Ramanand who, on 
being satisfied of his humility, forthwith made him 
a disciple and bestowed saintship on him. He then 
gave him permission to return to his own country, 
and continue to serve saints. Ramanand promised 
to go in company with other saints to visit him after 
a year of probation. Pipa departed, served holy 



men, and worshipped God with increased fervour. 
After a year he wrote to Ramanand and reminded him 
of his promise to sanctify Gagaraungarh with a visit. 

Ramanand set out with his forty chosen disciples, 
including Rav Das and the renowned Kabir. Pipa, 
having taken a palki for his guru, met the party 
outside the city. He prostrated himself before 
Ramanand and each of the disciples, and bestowed 
on the poor a large amount of money and the 
remnant of his property as a thanksgiving on that 
joyful occasion. He took the whole company to his 
palace, and bestowed such service on them that he 
quickly received the great spiritual reward of 
salvation during life. 

After some time Ramanand conceived a desire to 
visit the country of Dwaraka on the western coast 
of Kathiawar. Pipa on hearing this became dis- 
tressed at losing the companionship of his holy 
guide. Ramanand, on seeing the king's heartfelt 
love, said he could make his choice either to remain 
where he was or become a mendicant of his order 
and accompany him. Upon this Pipa abdicated his 
sovereignty and joined Ramanand and his party. 

His queens prepared to share his poverty and his 
pilgrimage to Dwaraka. Pipa tried to dissuade 
them by pointing out the hardships of travel and 
sojourn in forests and solitude, but they would not 
be convinced. He then told them to take off their 
jewels and regal attire, and put on patched clothes, 
and they might thus accompany him if they pleased. 
The mention of the detrimental alteration of cos- 
tume was more efficacious than any expostulation. 
All his queens save one immediately returned home. 

The youngest, whose name was Sita, the best 
beloved of her husband, doffed the becoming attire 
of her graceful youth, and put on, as her husband 
had suggested, the coarse blanket of a mendicant. 

Ramanand, Pipa, and Sita duly arrived in Dwaraka. 
Ramanand merely desired to see the temples there, 



and, this being done, declared his intention of 
returning to Banaras. But Pipa wished to settle in 
Dwaraka, and obtained Ramanand's permission to 
do so. He and his consort abode there in the 
society of holy men and made great progress towards 
spiritual perfection. 

When the sanctity of Pipa and his faithful con- 
sort became known, a great crowd assembled to do 
them homage. Wearied with the attentions they 
received from the people, Sita pointed out to her 
spouse that in order to save themselves from in- 
convenience and preserve their humility, it would 
be expedient for them to go to a strange country. 
They accordingly departed for other places of pil- 
grimage. When they had proceeded six stages, 
they encountered Afghan troops. The soldiers finding 
Sita fair to look upon appropriated her for them 
selves. In this difficulty she remembered God, and 
with fervent prayer supplicated His assistance. He 
rescued her from the Afghans, and restored her 
rejoicing to her husband. Pipa asked her if she 
would not even then go home, seeing that troubles 
arose on every side on her account. She replied, 
' Great king, what trouble hath caused any inter- 
ruption to thy devotion or hath been removed by 
any contrivance of thine ? It was all the work of 
God. Thou and I have proof and perfect assurance 
of this. To admonish me now, notwithstanding all 
that hath occurred, is not in accordance with the 
devotion of a husband or a saint.' Pipa was pleased 
with her constancy, they became reconciled, altered 
their route, and continued their pilgrimage. 

Pipa and his consort visited a holy man whose 
name was Chidhar. He and his wife, though highly 
pleased to see them, had nothing wherewithal to 
show them hospitality. In this plight Chidhar's 
wife's petticoat was sold to provide food for the 
guests. It was the only article of dress she possessed, 
and she had then to conceal herself in her room. 



When the food was cooked and the guests sat down 
to dinner, Pipa requested Chidhar to bring his wife 
to join them. Chidhar bade them take their dinner, 
and his wife would eat their leavings. Upon this 
Pipa told Sita to go and fetch her. Sita went and 
found her hiding in her room. On inquiring the 
cause, Chidhar's wife said it was not by wearing 
clothes heavenly bliss was obtained, but the first 
and most proper duty of all was to contemplate 
God and serve His saints. Sita divined what had 
occurred, and arrived at the conclusion that her 
own devotion and service were as nothing in com- 
parison with what she had just witnessed. Half 
the clothes she wore she gave to Chidhar's wife, 
and brought her forth from her hiding-place. They 
then all dined together. 

Pipa and Sita then took leave of Chidhar and his 
wife, and after great hardships and privations 
arrived at the city of Toda near Tank, on the north- 
western frontier of India. One day, on going to 
bathe, Pipa found an earthen vessel full of gold 
coins, but did not touch them. He mentioned the 
matter at night to his wife, and she said it was 
better not to go to the same bathing-place again. 
Some thieves who had overheard their conversation 
went thither, and found a venomous serpent coiled 
up in the vessel. They said to themselves that the 
newly-arrived faqir had designed to kill them by 
speaking of gold coin instead of a serpent in the 
vessel. They then decided that they would have 
the faqir himself bitten by the serpent. They 
accordingly dug out the vessel, took it with its 
contents and threw it into Pipa's house. But the 
original contents had not changed for the holy man. 
He found it still filled with gold coins as before. 
Pipa, believing this treasure to have been obtained 
by divine favour, spent all the money within three 
days in rejoicings in honour of God, and in feeding 
and serving His saints. 



Sur Sen, king of that country, hearing Pipa's name 
and devotion went to see him, and falling at his 
feet prayed him to instruct him and make him 
a holy man. Pipa remonstrated with him and even 
attempted to dissuade him from adopting the life 
of a hermit. However, on seeing him determined, 
Pipa told him to relinquish all he possessed. The 
king immediately obeyed this order, and placed his 
wealth at the disposal of the saint. After this trial 
Pipa gave him the spell of initiation and made him 
his disciple. Sur Sen's queen went veiled to Pipa 
to remonstrate against separation from her lord. 
Pipa restored her to Sur Sen and assured him that 
he could lead a religious life even in the married 
state, and added that it was unnecessary for women 
to veil themselves in the presence of holy men — 
probably the first effort in modern times in India 
to abolish the tyranny of the par da. 

In time an unfortunate difference arose between 
Sur Sen and Pipa which was rendered more acute 
by intrigues of the court Brahmans ; and Sur Sen 
threw off his spiritual allegiance to his royal guest. 
Pipa upon this reflected that it was the guru who 
frees men from sin and its consequences, and when 
a man throws off his allegiance to his guru, what 
hope is there for him ? He feared that the king 
would lose both this world and the next, so he 
resolved to save him. He accordingly proceeded to 
the king's palace and caused himself to be announced. 
The king sent word that he was busy with his 
devotions and could not see the visitor. Upon this 
Pipa said the king was a great fool, for, while pre- 
tending to be performing his devotions, he was think- 
ing of obtaining new foot-wear for himself. When 
these words were repeated to Sur Sen he, knowing 
that Pipa had divined his thoughts, at once went 
to him and throwing himself at his feet, said, 
' I am unworthy and faithless, I did not know thy 
greatness. Be merciful and pardon me. I am 



extremely ashamed of all the suspicions and erro- 
neous ideas I had formed regarding thee.' Pipa 
replied, ' O king, remember thy faith and love on 
the day thou becamest my disciple. According to 
all rules thy love for God and his guru ought to 
have increased. Instead of that thou hast turned 
thy back on them, and prepared thyself for hell. 
For the future consider the saints of God as His 
image and serve them. In this way shalt thou 
easily obtain the advantages of both worlds.' Pipa 
gave the king other instructions of similar character, 
which sank deep into his heart. He then returned 
to his old allegiance to Pipa, and began anew his 
religious life and his repetition of God's name. 

Pipa on more occasions than can be related 
showed a marked deference to the wishes of others. 
Once some holy men took a fancy to a dish of curds 
which they had seen with a milkwoman, and asked 
Pipa to procure it for them. He caused the holy 
men to be served with curds daily, and cheerfully 
remunerated the milkwoman. 

There was a Brahman friend of Pipa who was 
a worshipper of Durga. Pipa prepared a religious 
feast in the Brahman's house, partook of the food 
himself, and induced the Brahman also to do so. 
Through the intercession of Pipa it is related that 
Durga manifested herself to the Brahman. His 
heart became purified and he began to worship God 
instead of an idol. 

A handsome woman who sold oil used to go 
about saying, ' Buy my oil ! buy my oil ! ' Pipa 
said it would be more becoming to her lips to utter 
God's name. The woman became angry, and replied 
that it was only usual to utter God's name when 
anybody died. On arriving at home she found her 
husband dead. She became a believer, fell at 
Pipa's feet, and promised to utter with all her 
family the name of God. Upon this it is said Pipa 
restored her husband to life. 


Pipa procured a female buffalo to supply milk to 
his holy guests. The buffalo was stolen. Pipa took 
the buffalo's calf and followed the thieves, telling 
them to take the calf also, as otherwise the buffalo 
would be displeased and not give milk. 1 The thieves 
repented and restored the stolen animal to her owner. 

Pipa on another occasion was taking home some 
money and a cart laden with wheat. Highway robbers 
stole the cart with its burden. Pipa offered them 
his money also, telling them that they would require 
it to purchase utensils with which to cook the wheat. 
These robbers also repented and restored Pipa his cart. 

Somebody killed a cow and was expelled from 
his caste for a crime so heinous in the eyes of the 
Hindus. Pipa by inducing him to utter God's 
name and prepare a feast in God's honour con- 
verted him from a sinner to a saint. His tribes- 
men, however, still refused to allow him to return 
to his brotherhood. Upon this Pipa proved the 
glory of God's name from the Veds and the Shas- 
tars, and stated that whoever even once uttered it 
should be pardoned the mortal sins of hundreds of 
thousands of births. Consequently how could the 
sin of cow-killing remain attached to a man who 
uttered God's name hundreds and thousands of 
times ? Everybody admitted the justice of this 
argument, and the cow-killer was restored to his 
caste and public favour. 

A saint called Sri Rang invited Pipa by letter to 
visit him. Pipa accepted the invitation. On his 
arrival he found Sri Rang engaged in idolatrous 
worship. He was putting on the idol's neck a 
garland of flowers, but it became entangled in the 
idol's diadem. At that moment he was informed 
of Pipa's arrival. He replied that he was occupied 
with divine service, and when it was completed he 
would go to receive his guest. Pipa replied, ' What 

1 The Indian buffalo and cow will not give milk if separated from 
their calves. 



sort of service is he performing ? He cannot put 
on a garland of flowers.' On hearing this Sri Rang 
ran to meet him. They embraced each other, and 
Pipa remained with his new friend for several days. 
Sri Rang was greatly edified on witnessing Sita's 
love and devotion, and applied himself with great 
fervour to imitate her example. 

Once on the occasion of a famine Pipa distributed 
such a quantity of eatables and drinkables that it 
appeared as if there had been no famine, and every- 
body's sufferings were relieved. 

The author of the Bhagat Mai states that there 
are numberless similar anecdotes of Pipa which 
transcend all conjecture and conception. There is 
therefore, the writer states, no difference between 
God and His saints, since the glory of Pipa might 
be attributed to God. The Marathi chronicler sums 
up the character of Pipa by saying that he was brave, 
liberal, learned, religious, self-restrained, and watchful. 

The following hymn of Pipa, intended to show 
that it is internal not external worship which is 
advantageous, is found in the Granth Sahib. 


In the body is God, the body is the temple of God, in the 
body are pilgrims and travellers ; 

In the body are incense, lamps, sacrificial food; in the 
body are offerings of leaves. 1 

I have searched many regions, and it is only in the body 
I have found the nine treasures. 

There is no coming and no going for me since I have 
appealed to God. 

What is in the universe is found in the body : whoever 
searcheth for it shall find it there. 

Pipa representeth, God is the Primal Essence ; when 
there is a true guru he will show him. 

1 Made to the manes of Hindus. Men can do homage in God's 
temple, the body, while they are alive, but when the soul separates 
from it, no pilgrimages or adorations can be made. 



Sain was a disciple of Ramanand and conse- 
quently lived in the end of the fourteenth and the 
beginning of the fifteenth century of the Christian 
era. He was a barber at the court of Raja Ram, 
king of Rewa, then called Bandhavgarh. The 
tendency of the age was towards devotion and 
religious composition, and Sain found leisure in the 
midst of his duties to study the hymns of Ramanand, 
shape his life on the principles inculcated in them, 
and successfully imitate their spirit and devotional 

The accomplishments and duties of an Indian 
court barber at the time of Sain were and are still 
of a miscellaneous character. He is something of 
a surgeon and ordinarily a marriage or match-maker, 
he oils the king's body, shampoos his limbs, pares 
his nails, shaves his face and head, if he be a Hindu, 
and clips his moustache, if he be a Musalman; 
amuses him with gossip and tales ; often plays the 
rebeck and sings his own compositions, which deftly 
combine flattery of his master with social satire or 
pleasantry. 1 

God is said by the Hindu chronicler to have 
cherished Sain as a cow her calf. He frequented 
the society of holy men and was very happy in their 
company. He performed for them all menial offices, 
for he believed that serving saints was equivalent 
to serving God Himself. 

The Bhagat Mai contains a legend which at once 

1 Beaumarchais was censured by contemporary writers for the 
diversity of accomplishments of the hero of his great comedy — ' Figaro 
le barbier, beau diseur, mauvais poete, hardi musicien, grand fringueneur 
de guitare, et jadis valet de chambre du comte, &abli dans Seville, 
y faisant avec succes des barbes, des romances, et des mariages, y 
maniant dgalement Ie fer du phle*botome et le piston,' 



illustrates Sain's devotion to saints and the estima- 
tion in which he was held for his piety. When 
going one day to perform his usual ministrations 
for king Raja Ram, he met some holy men on the 
way. He thought it was his first duty to attend 
to them. He took them with him, and began to 
render them the customary services. With the 
greatest mental satisfaction to himself he gave 
them consecrated and secular food to relieve their 
souls and bodies. In thus acting Sain disregarded 
his duty to the king and braved his displeasure. 

The legend states that a holy man, by God's 
favour, in order to avert the king's wrath and save 
Sain from punishment, assumed his appearance, and 
having gone and performed the customary duties 
for the king, took his departure. Soon after Sain 
arrived and began to apologize for his delay The 
king said, ' Thou hast only just gone after the usual 
services to me ; why apologize ? ' Sain replied, ' I 
have not been here. Perhaps thy Majesty say est 
so to excuse my absence.' The Raja then knew that 
a special providence had intervened and performed 
for him the usual tonsorial duties. He was at 
once converted, fell at Sain's feet, worshipped him 
as his guru, and thus sought an asylum in God. 
It had at any rate at the time of the composition 
of the Bhagat Mai become an established custom 
that the successive kings of the house of Bandhav- 
garh should always be disciples of the descendants 
of Sain. They are now said to be followers of Kabir. 1 

The following hymn of Sain in the Dhanasari 
measure is found in the Granth Sahib : — 

Having made an oblation of incense, lamps, and clarified 

I go to offer them to Thee, O God. 2 

1 The Bhagat Mai of Maharaja Raghuraj Sinh of Rewa. He 
stated that he was the tenth in descent from the Raja at whose court 
Sain lived. 

2 Kawalapati, literally— Lord of Lakshmi. 


Hail to Thee, 0 God, hail ! 
Ever hail to Thee, O Sovereign God ! 
Thy name is the best lamp, meditation thereon the purest 
wick ; 

Thou alone art the Bright One, O God. 
It is the saints of God who feel divine pleasure ; 
They describe Thee as all-pervading and the Supreme Joy. 1 
Thou, of fascinating form, O God, float us over the ocean 
of terror. 

Sain saith, worship the Supreme Joy. 2 


There was a certain Brahman in Banaras, who 
remained continually in attendance on Ramanand. 
The Brahman had a daughter, a virgin widow, who 
desired to behold the object of her father's reverence 
and attentions. Her father took her one day to see 
the holy man. She was allowed to prostrate herself 
before him and touch his feet with her forehead. 
He in ignorance of her status prayed that she might 
be blest with a son. When her father replied that 
she was a widow, Ramanand said that his words 
could not be recalled and she should have a son ; 
but no one should see any signs of her pregnancy, 
and no stigma should attach to her reputation. 
Her son should reform religion and save the world. 
She consequently conceived, and in due time a son 
was born to her on Monday, the day of the full 
moon, in the month of Jeth, 1455, of the Vikrama- 
ditya era, corresponding to a.d. 1398. 3 She exposed 

1 This and the preceding line are also translated — 

It is Ramanand who knoweth devotion to God ; 
It is he who can describe the_ Perfect Primal Joy. 

2 This hymn is included in the Arati, a divine service of the Sikhs 
when lamps are lit in the evening. 

3 For many of the details in this account of Kabir the author is 



her child on a lake called Lahar Talao, a short 
distance from Banaras. He was found by a Musal- 
man weaver, called Ali — who from living beside the 
water (nir) was popularly known by the name of 
Niru — when he was taking home his wife from her 
parents' house. 

He saw the boy lying in the lake, it is said, on 
a blossoming water-lily. The child had obviously 
been abandoned by an unmarried woman. Niru 
hastened to inform his wife Nima. They had no 
son of their own, and it was in their power to adopt 
him. Nima represented the gossip that would result, 
and the danger to their reputation and that of the 
whole tribe. On looking into the child's face, 
however, her determination gave way. He was fair 
to look on, and did not scream like other children, 
but on the contrary looked bright and cheerful. 
They took him up and bore him home. 

The Lahar Talao is a lake about a mile and a 
quarter long, and an eighth of a mile broad. At 
the time of the author's visit in December, it was, 
except for some rushes here and there, covered with 
a russet weed on which aquatic birds alighted and 
sported. On the margin of the lake is a small temple 
sacred to Kabir. It is kept by some monks, who 
pride themselves on their knowledge of Sanskrit 
literature. Hard by is the tomb of Niru, Kabir's 

After the discovery of the child a Qazi was in 
due time called to give him a name. The Quran 
was opened, and a lot was cast. The word Kabir, 
which means great in the Arabic language, was the 
first that presented itself. This name was accord- 
indebted to the work Kabir Kasauli of the late Lahina Singh of 
Panjor in the Patiala State, the Kabir Manshur of Sadhu Paramanand 
(Hindi), the Kavi Charitar (Gujrati), the Bharai Khanda cha Arava- 
chin Kosh and the Bhakta Vijay of Mahipati (Maralhi). The author 
also acknowledges assistance from inquiries made by Mr. G. H. Radice. 
of the Indian Civil Service. 


ingly given to the child. When Kabir arrived at 
an age to understand the nature of the doubts cast 
on his birth he composed the following : — 

I have just come from God. 

Mammon hath led the world astray ; it hath not found 
the secret of my birth. 

I was not born, nor did I dwell in a womb ; I have ap- 
peared a child as I am. 

A weaver found me near his hut in a lake at Banaras. 

I was not in heaven, or in earth, or in any country ; 
my divine knowledge is endless. 

The spirit which is manifested in His own world is my 

I have no bones, no blood, no skin ; I have been manifested 
by the Word. 

I am beyond all body and endless, a superior being whom 
men call the immortal Kabir. 1 

It would appear that, though the boy was adopted 
by Musalmans, he was subjected to Hindu influences 
from his earliest years. Banaras was and is the 
stronghold of Hinduism, and even its Muhammadan 
inhabitants are often strongly tinctured with the 
ancient religion of India. 

Moreover, it is said that Gosain Ashtanand, a 
Hindu saint of the period, said to have been a disciple 
of Ramanand, saw the child at the time of his expo- 
sure in the tank ; and it is most probable that he 
subsequently followed his fate and gave him religious 
instruction as opportunities offered. 

At a very early age Kabir's religious education 
was far advanced. While playing with his com- 
panions he used to repeat the name Ram or Hari, 
Hindu names of God. Musalmans said the child was 
an infidel. Kabir retorted that an infidel was he — 

r. Who struck any person without just cause, 

2. Who wore a religious garb to deceive the world, 

1 This is somewhat in imitation of the expressions attributed to 
Krishan, in the Bhagavad Glta. 



3. Who drank wine, 

4. Who stole, 

5. Who committed suicide, 

6. Who smoked tobacco, 

7. Who committed highway robbery, 

8. Who took life. 

These became Kabir's commandments. 

One day he put on the frontal mark and the 
sacrificial thread of the Hindus. A Brahman called 
Mukand remonstrated, and said that Kabir, having 
been brought up a Muhammadan, and following, 
moreover, the trade of his foster-father, had no 
concern with Hinduism, and was not entitled to 
wear its distinguishing badge or symbols. Kabir 
replied with the following hymn : — 

In my house is thread, I am continually weaving, while 
only one sacrificial thread is on thy neck. 

Thou readest only the Veds and the Gayatri, wliile God 
is in my heart. 

On my tongue dwelleth God, in mine eyes dwelleth God, 
and in my heart dwelleth God. 1 

When thou art examined, O mad Mukand, at Death's 
door, what shalt thou say ? 

I am the cow, thou the herdsman, lord of the earth, and 
guardian of man at every birth. 2 

Thou hast not taken me beyond the river to graze ; 3 
what sort of master have I ? 

Thou art a Brahman, I am a Banaras weaver, understand 
my instruction. 

Thou beggest from lords and kings, while I meditate on 
God ; which of us is better ? 4 

As Kabir grew up, his devotion, spiritual power, 

1 In this verse in the original Kabir gives three different Sanskrit 
names of God. 

2 This is said ironically. The name Mukand is also applied 
to God. 

3 Where the pasturage was good. That is, though bearing the 
name Mukand, thou art unable to save me. 

4 Asa. 


and miracles became famous. He deemed every- 
thing blasphemy which was opposed to the worship 
of God. He considered the practice of jog, alms, 
fasting, and the feeding of Brahmans not only 
useless, but improper, without the repetition of 
God's name and love for Him. In reality the special 
tenor- of the Shastars is, according to Nabhaji's 
Bhagat Mai, that all the above-mentioned religious 
works are ciphers, and the name of God is, as it were, 
a numeral. The practice of jog, feeding Brahmans, 
&c, are useless without the numeral of God's name. 
The meaning of the author of the Bhagat Mai is, 
that all religious works should be performed for the 
acquisition of devotion and love of God, and not for 
objects of a temporal character. 

Kabir has written works which all religious 
denominations can accept, and which, if perused 
without bigotry, are advantageous for the salvation 
of all persons. Kabir was so steadfast in his utterance 
of God's name, that in comparison with it he deemed 
worthless the rules of caste and the Hindu and 
Muhammadan religious observances. 

From Kabir' s boyhood his mind was filled with 
intuitive knowledge, and his reasoning faculties were 
so acute that he vanquished the most learned men 
of his age, both Hindu and Musalman, in theological 
and ethical discussions. The Brahmans and the 
Mullas contrived many expedients to silence him, 
but all their efforts were baffled. At last they 
decided that they would call him a nigura, or person 
without a spiritual guide, and consequently an infidel, 
with the dubious moral character which that word in 
the estimation of the vulgar connotes, and that they 
would thus humble and shame him. Having heard 
of the Brahman's resolution and of Ramanand's 
fame Kabir sought him out and became his disciple. 1 

1 There is a story in Nabhaji's Bhagat Mai purporting to describe 
the manner in which Kabir became Ramanand's disciple, but as it is 
derogatory to the character of both saints, it is omitted here. 



When Kabir's foster-parents found they could not 
restrain his Hindu proclivities, they determined to 
circumcise him. Upon this he uttered the following 
hymn : — 

Whence have come the Hindus and Musalmans ? Who 
hath put them on their different ways ? 1 

Having thought and reflected in thy heart, answer this — 
who shall obtain heaven and who hell ? 

0 Qazi, what expoundest thou ? 

Such readers and students as thou have failed ; none of 
them hath obtained knowledge. 

Thou practisest circumcision for love of woman : 2 I shall 
never believe in it, O brother. 

If God had desired to make me a Musalman, I should 
have been born circumcised. 

If a man become a Musalman by circumcision, what is 
to be done to a woman ? 3 

Thou puttest not away thy wife who is half thy body ; 
wherefore thou remainest a Hindu. 

Give up thy books, 0 foolish man, and worship God ; thou 
practisest gross oppression. 

Kabir hath laid hold of the prop of God ; the Musalmans 
have totally failed. 4 

When Kabir's mother found that his attention 
was directed to the worship of the God of the Hindus 
in opposition to the God of Islam, she raised loud 
complaints. Kabir paid no attention to her, but 
employed himself as usual in the repetition and 
remembrance of God's name. 

Kabir continued to follow his trade, but at the 
same time received and served holy men and mendi- 

1 Who invented their different religions ? 

2 The Musalmans tell a fanciful story regarding the origin of 
circumcision by Abraham. He had two wives, and one exacted 
a promise from him that he would not approach the other under pain 
of death. He broke his promise, but his favourite wife, subduing her 
rage, expressed herself satisfied with his circumcision instead of the 
decapitation which had been stipulated. 

3 As being uncircumcised, she is not a Musalman. 4 Asa: 


cants. At this his mother was greatly distressed, 
and uttered the complaints versified in the first part 
of the following hymn : — 

Thou art always rising early and bringing fresh 1 utensils ; 
thy life hath gone in plastering cooking squares ; 

Thou payest no attention to thy weaving ; thou art 
engrossed in the pleasure of saying ' God, God '. 

Who in our family hath ever uttered the name of Ram ? 2 

Since this worthless 3 son of ours began to wear a rosary, 
we have had no peace. 

Hear, wife of my eldest brother-in-law ; hear, wife of my 
youngest brother-in-law ; 4 a wonderful thing hath oc- 
curred ! 

This boy hath ruined our weaving business ; 5 why is he 
not dead ? 

Kabir replied as follows : — 

The one God is the Lord of all happiness ; the guru hath 
granted me His name. 

He preserved the honour of the saint 6 Prahlad, and 
destroyed Harnakhas with Narsinh's nails. 

Prahlad abandoned the gods 7 and ancestors 8 of his 
house, and embraced the instruction of his guru Narad. 

Saith Kabir, God is the destroyer of all sin ; He saveth 
His saints. 9 

In Banaras, among opulent Hindus, sun-dried 
vessels are replaced daily. It is believed that the 

1 Kori, also translated weaver. 

2 Kablr's mother was a Musalman, and it certainly was not usual 
among her people to utter the Hindu word for God. 

3 Nipitle. Literally — a man without sons, who has no one to toil 
for, and is therefore lazy. The word is a common one of abuse in 
the mouths of some Indian women. 

4 Kablr's mother sought to get all her female relations on her side. 

5 Literally — our seven threads, probably with reference to the 
seven colours. 6 Sant in the original. 

7 Called Sanda and Marka, descendants of Brahma. 

8 It is usual for the Hindus to worship ancestors. The clause is 
also translated — Prahlad rejected his tutor's and his father's advice. 

8 Bilawal. 



night render's them impure. Kabir was anxious to 
attract holy men, and followed the popular custom 
of daily renewing his cooking vessels and smearing 
his cooking places. The above hymn was written 
in Kabir's youth. 

One day he was selling a piece of cloth in the 
market-place. He asked five double paise for it, but 
no one would give him more than three. A broker 
came up, and, seeing that Kabir was undervaluing 
his cloth, began to assist him in its sale. The broker 
asked intending purchasers twelve double paise. They, 
forming an idea of the value of the cloth from the 
price put upon it by the seller, offered seven double 
paise, and at this sum a bargain was struck. Upon 
this Kabir uttered the following couplet : — 

If I speak the truth, you beat me down ; the world is 
pleased with falsehood. 
A sheet worth five double paise is sold for seven. 

Kabir kept his mind continually fixed on God, and 
worked sufficiently to maintain himself and his family. 
Another day, as he was standing in the market- 
place selling cloth, a faqir came and begged for 
wherewithal to cover his nakedness. Kabir offered 
him half the cloth he had for sale. The faqir replied 
that that was not enough. Upon this Kabir gave 
him the whole. Kabir then reflected that his mother 
and family were waiting for the price of the cloth, 
and how could he return to them with empty hands ? 
He therefore decided to conceal himself and not 
return home. His people became very anxious 
regarding him. 

Meantime God put it into the heart of a corn-mer- 
chant to take ox-loads of food of every description to 
Kabir's house, so that his family might not suffer 
during his absence. Kabir's mother strenuously 
resented the offering, and said, ' My son will not take 
even a single grain of corn from any one. Who art 
thou who throwest such a quantity of provisions at 



my door ? ' The merchant, however, heeded her not, 
but leaving all the provisions took his departure. 
Two or three men then went in quest of Kabir, and 
brought him home. When he saw the unexpected 
supplies and heard the circumstances, he knew it was 
all due to the kindness of God, and became highly 
pleased and grateful to the Giver. He then sent for 
some saints and distributed what he had received 
among them. 

When the Brahmans of Banaras heard that Kabir 
had given hundreds of mans of corn to holy men, 
but not even one grain to themselves, they went 
in a body to his house and thus addressed him ; 
' Weaver, thou hast become very proud of thy 
wealth, since, without any intimation to us, thou 
hast distributed provisions among low caste faqirs 
and Sudars. Leave this city at once, and take up 
thy residence elsewhere.' Kabir asked why he should 
leave the city. Had he broken into any one's house 
or committed highway robbery, that they sought to 
exile him ? The Brahmans replied that, since he had 
served and done honour to faqirs instead of them- 
selves, it was an offence sufficient to merit expulsion 
from the city. ' Say no more,' they continued, 
* it is better for thee either to make us an offering 
or depart hence.' Kabir replied that his house was 
all he had, and they could take possession of it. 
Thus saying, he escaped from them, and again con- 
cealed himself in a distant forest. 1 

Upon this some admirers of Kabir's sanctity, and 
sympathizers with his troubles, distributed among 
the Brahmans such an amount of money and pro- 
visions that the name and praises of Kabir resounded 
throughout the whole city, and the Brahmans were 
highly delighted and gratified on finding their 
stomachs filled to repletion. After that, a holy man 
sought out Kabir, and asked him why he spent his 
days in the forest. ' Why goest thou not to thine 

1 Kabir Kasauli. 



own house ? Whoever goeth to thy door obtaineth 
money and provisions, and shall there be nothing for 
thee ? ' Kabir then went home, and, finding ample 
supplies for his family, was grateful for God's mercy 
and love. When the report of such good fortune and 
God's bounty was noised abroad, people went in 
great numbers to the saint. Finding his meditations 
interrupted by his visitors, he resorted to a singular 
expedient to blacken his own character and keep 
them at a distance. 1 Pious people were scandalized, 
and said that, though Kabir had been a perfect 
saint, he must now be deemed a wicked man unfit 
for the association of the virtuous. 

While Kabir' s desire for seclusion was thus fully 
attained, and people ceased to throng round him 
in numbers, ignorant people uttered reproaches. and 
satirized him. Kabir went in strange guise to the 
king's court, and sat down in the midst of the 
assembly. The king and his courtiers, seeing his 
strange behaviour, treated him despitefully and 
ordered him out of their presence. The king, how- 
ever, on reflection was ashamed of his hasty order 
and want of consideration for such a saint, not- 
withstanding the strange guise he had adopted. 
The king then began to consider how his own sins 
could be pardoned. He put an axe on his shoulder 
and a bundle of firewood on his head, went bare- 
footed with his queen into Kabir's presence, and 
fell down with great humility and modesty at the 
saint's feet. Kabir pardoned his discourtesy, and 
showed him the way of devotion to God. 

The bigoted emperor Sikandar Khan Lodi, son of 
Bahlol Lodi, visited Banaras in Sambat 1545, the 
year he ascended the throne. Owing to the damp- 
ness of the locality he contracted a severe fever and 
ague. Kabir's enemies suggested that he should be 
called to cure the emperor. Their object was that 

1 In Nabhaji's Bhagal Mai it is slated that Kabir pretended to be 
drunk and went round the city with his arm round a courtesan's neck. 

K 2 


Kabir should fail in his efforts, and then be punished 
by the despot. To the dismay of his enemies, how- 
ever, Kabir is said to have cured the monarch by 
simply presenting himself. 

The Musaimans, headed by Shaikh Taqi and the 
unbelieving Brahmans, subsequently appeared before 
the emperor to make a complaint against Kabir. 
They represented that he had so led people astray 
all over the city, that those who paid heed to what 
he said, remained neither Hindus nor Musaimans. 
The emperor summoned Kabir. When he appeared, 
the courtiers told him to salute and make obeisance 
to the monarch in the usual manner of subjects. 
Kabir replied that he was not accustomed to courts, 
and did not know how to make prostrations, nor 
had he any business with the emperor. He but 
knew the name of God, who was the Support of 
his soul, and only Sovereign of the world. The 
emperor became enraged on hearing this, and for- 
getting his former obligation to Kabir, loaded him 
with chains and had him thrown into the river. It 
is related that Kabir, who had previously cut off 
the chains of sin, easily swam to shore leaving his 
chains behind him. Unbelievers attributed this 
miracle to magic, so setting some wood on fire 
they threw the saint into it. By God's favour the 
fire was completely extinguished, and Kabir' s body 
emerged from it more handsome than before. When 
these means of destruction failed, a furious elephant 
was let loose on him. The elephant, however, not 
only did not approach Kabir, but fled on seeing 
him. Kabir composed the following on the occa- 
sion : — 

They tied my arms and threw me like a ball ; 
They beat an infuriated elephant on the head that he 
might trample on me, 
But he trumpeted and fled, saying, 
I am a sacrifice to that shape which appeared.'' 



Saith Kabir, ' 0 my God, Thou art my strength ' — 
The Qazi ordered, ' Drive on the elephant, 
0 driver, or I will make mince-meat of thee ; 
Drive on the elephant, wound him.' 
The elephant did not move, but kept his attention on 

And God took possession of his heart. 
Men asked, ' What crime hath the saint committed, 
That you have made a ball of him and thrown him to 
the elephant ? ' 
The elephant lifting up the ball bowed to it ; 
Even then the infatuated Qazi could not comprehend. 
Three times he tried to kill me but failed ; 
Even then his hard heart would not be satisfied. 
Saith Kabir, 0 God, Thou art my protector ; 
Thy servant's soul is in the fourth state. 1 

When Kabir had successfully escaped from these 
ordeals, another charge was invented against him, 
namely, that he had been guilty of the blasphemy 
of calling himself God. This was deposed to by 
several witnesses, and the emperor was induced to 
give it credence. He again summoned Kabir. On 
Kabir's arrival the emperor caused a cow to be 
slaughtered and ordered Kabir to reanimate her. 
Kabir stroked her with his hand, and then made 
a noise with his lips as if driving her, upon which, 
it is related, the cow stood up, and all her wounds 
and injuries were healed. 

When the emperor saw the power of Kabir's 
devotion, it is said he fell at his feet, and thus 
addressed him : ' I am thy servant and slave. 
Pardon my offences that I may be saved from God's 
wrath. Ask what thou desirest — money, lands, and 
other things — and I will present them to thee ; and 
do thou in return bestow such kindness on my poor 
circumstances that I may be happy in this world and 
the next.' Kabir replied that he had no concern 

1 The lurtya pad in which deliverance is obtained. Gaund. 


with anything but the name of God. Gold and lands 
were all useless to him. Saying this he went home. 

The saints of God were all overjoyed at his 
safety, but the Brahmans irritated at their failure 
began to contrive further means of annoyance. They 
dressed up several persons as holy men, and sent 
them to various dignitaries to invite them on behalf 
of Kabir to a banquet on a certain date. Guests 
came in crowds at the appointed time. Kabir on 
discovering the trick that had been played, and 
knowing that on account of his poverty he was 
unequal to the entertainment of such a multitude, 
again fled, this time with the approbation of the saint 
Rav Das, to a neighbouring forest for concealment. 

But God did not wish that His saint should be 
made a laughing-stock. He sent in the guise of 
Kabir a holy man who performed the duties of 
host with such grace and dignity as was impossible 
for any ordinary mortal. As each party of visitors 
arrived, the holy man met them at the door, and 
performed for them all the rites of hospitality. He 
provided them with suitable apartments, washed 
their feet, and performed all necessary services. 
When all the guests had fared to their hearts' con- 
tent, and the holy man obtained leisure from attend- 
ance on them, he sat down with each group and 
conversed with its members on sacred subjects. In 
this way the festival was prolonged for several days. 
After that he went to Kabir, and gave him a full 
account of the entertainment. Kabir then went 
home overjoyed with God's love and kindness to 
him and composed the following slok : — 

Kabir, I did not do this, nor will I do it again, nor am 
I physically able to do it ; 

How do I know what God may have done ? Yet it was 
all Kabir. 

To this Kabir in his thankfulness to God added 
the following hymn : — 



Endless salvation awaiteth him 

Who hath such a master as God, 0 brother. 

Say, now that my trust is in Thee, 0 God, 

What obligation am I under to any one else ? 

Why should God who beareth the load of the three worlds 

not cherish me ? 
Saith Kabir, I have obtained one piece of knowledge by 

reflection — 

If a mother will poison her child, who can restrain 
her? 1 

It is said that the entertainment took place on 
the spot where since has been built the Chaura 
Kabir, a temple dedicated to Kabir, in which his 
writings are said to be preserved. 

There was a renowned Brahman disputant, called 
Pandit Sarva Jit, who at his mother's advice went 
to Banaras with several ox-loads of books. He had 
heard of Kabir's fame and proceeded to visit him. 
On arriving at the Lahar Talao, he met Niru's 
daughter drawing water, and requested her to show 
him Kabir's place of residence. She said that it was 
on a lofty place, with a road so narrow that not 
even an ant could pass, much less the oxen he had 
brought with him. By her answer he felt sure that 
she knew where Kabir lived. He took a lota of 
water from her, and requested her to place it in 
front of Kabir. She did so, upon which Kabir put 
a needle into it and told her to carry the vessel back 
to Sarva Jit. There is a proverb that truth is found 
at the bottom of a well. By the needle Kabir meant 
that truth was small, exquisitely polished, and under- 
lay much unsubstantial matter. 

The Brahmans of Banaras on hearing of Sarva 
Jit's arrival went to Ramanand, and informed him 
that a Pandit had come with whom nobody could 
cope. Ramanand was so little impressed with the 
Pandit's great learning, that he told them to go out 

1 That is, I cannot compel God to cherish me. Gauri. 


into the street and bring in the first person they 
met ; and he undertook that he would vanquish 
Sarva Jit in argument. The Brahmans went forth 
into the street. Kabir happened to be the first they 
met, and they took him to Ramanand. Ramanand 
declared Kabir invincible, and the Brahmans accord- 
ingly put him forward as their spiritual champion. 
Sarva Jit on seeing him inquired his caste, where- 
upon Kabir answered that he was a weaver. The 
haughty Pandit turned up his nose and asked what 
a weaver was. Kabir replied as follows : — 

No one knoweth the secret of the Weaver ; 

God hath woven the warp of the whole world. 

If thou listen to the Veds and Purans, 

Thou shalt hear, ' I have stretched the warp so long ; 

I have made the earth and firmament My workshop ; 

I have set the moon and sun in alternate motion ; 

Working My legs I did one work ' 1 — with such a Weaver 
my heart is pleased. 

The weaver hath looked into his own heart and there 
recognized God. 

Saith Kabir, ' I have broken up my workshop, 

And the weaver hath blended his thread 2 with the thread 
of God. 3 

Sarva Jit admitted himself defeated, and begged 
Kabir to make him a disciple. Kabir modestly 
referred him to his guru Ramanand, who gave him 
the customary initiation. 

Tata and Jiwa, two Brahman brothers who lived 
in retirement on the bank of the river Narbada, 
doubting the spiritual perfection of their guru, 
planted a shoot of the Indian fig-tree near their 
dwelling, and vowed that, if it germinated when 

1 God is represented as the speaker. He made the world as a 
weaver makes a piece of cloth, and He also made the alternations of 
day and night. 

2 The weaver has obtained deliverance, blended his light with the 
light of God. 3 Asa. 



irrigated with the water in which a holy visitor had 
washed his feet, they would transfer their spiritual 
allegiance to such a visitor. Several reputed saints 
made pilgrimages to the locality, but it was only on 
Kabir's arrival that the desired result was attained. 
Upon this Tata and Jiwa had no difficulty in believing 
in Kabir's superhuman power. 

A young woman of beautiful and bewitching form 
was sent by Kabir's enemies to test his virtue, but 
she displayed all her attractions and fascinations in 
vain. God's image was so firmly seated in Kabir's 
heart, that the charming damsel's wiles produced no 
effect on him. She therefore departed crestfallen 
and helpless. God was pleased on beholding the 
continence and devotion of Kabir, and appeared to 
him in a vision. He placed His hand on Kabir's 
head and invited him to go bodily to heaven. Kabir, 
knowing that he had obtained complete deliver- 
ance, prepared himself to accept God's invitation ; 
but, to show his contempt for Hindu superstitions, 
and to emphasize the power of devotion to God, he 
performed a very unusual act before his departure to 
the celestial realms. 

Kabir usually lived, until the last year of his life, 
at Banaras, the sacred city of Shiv, where alone, in 
the estimation of many Hindus, deliverance may be 
obtained. There is a town called Magahar beyond the 
Ganges, about eighty-five miles to the east of 
Ajudhia, and fifteen miles to the west of Gorakhpur, 
in which, according to Brahmanical belief, those 
who die have no hope of ultimate beatitude. Kabir's 
biographer says that they who believe in the religious 
exercises prescribed in the Shastars, migrate into the 
bodies of donkeys if they die in Magahar; while for 
those who are fortunate enough to perform the real 
worship of God, every country and every place is 
equal to thousands of cities like the Hindu Banaras. 
Nay, such is the power of devotion, that God's devotees 
who die in Magahar go to heaven. 


Kabir, on arriving in Magahar, took possession of 
a saint's cell he found on the margin of the river 
Ami. The river was then dry, but water has flowed 
in it ever since the day Kabir hallowed it with his 

Kabir composed the following hymn at Magahar : — 

I am as a fish out of water, 

Because in a former life I performed no penance. 

Now say, 0 God, what shall be my condition. 

People tell me I had little sense to leave Banaras, 

That I wasted all my life in that city of Shiv ; 1 

And now when about to die, I have removed to Magahar. 

For many years I did penance at Banaras, 

But, now that death is at hand, I have come to dwell in 
Magahar — 

I consider Magahar as good as Banaras — 

How shall he of scant devotion be saved ? 

Saith Kabir, my guru Ramanand, 2 Ganesh, Shiv, 3 and all 
men know, 

That Kabir when dying uttered God's holy name. 4 
And also the following : — 

Thou art my great mountain ; O Lord, I have sought 
Thy shelter. 

Thou shakest not, nor do I fall ; Thou hast sheltered me, 

0 God; 

Now and then and forever more there is but Thou. 
By Thy favour I am ever happy. 

Relying on Thee I have dwelt in Magahar ; Thou hast 
quenched the fever of my body. 
I first obtained a sight of Thee in Banaras, and afterwards 

1 went to live at Magahar. 

1 Banaras, where the worship of Shiv specially prevails. 

2 Some understand Brihaspati, the teacher of the gods. 

3 Ganesh, it is said, endeavours to bring every one to die in Banaras 
who has ever visited that place of Hindu pilgrimage. Shiv is said to 
whisper his tarak manlar or farewell spell, ' Ram, Ram,' (God, God) 
into the dying man's ears. The idea is that Shiv is also a worshipper 
of Ram and recommends his friends to that god's protection. 

4 Gauri. 



As Banaras so is Magahar ; I deem them both the same. 

I a poor man have obtained this wealth on account of 
which the proud pandits are bursting to death with envy. 

He who is proud suffereth that torture ; there is none to 
deliver him therefrom. 

In this life he crieth bitterly under the torture, and after 
death he shall be burnt in a frightful hell. 

What is hell and what heaven, the wretched places ? The 
saints have rejected them both. 1 

Through the favour of the guru I pay no regard to any 
one ; 

I have claimed God's throne and met Him. 
God and Kabir have become one ; no one can distinguish 
between them. 2 

After Kabir' s death a quarrel arose between the 
Hindus and Muhammadans for the disposal of his 
body. Vir Sinh Baghela, the King of Banaras, wished 
to cremate it, while Bijli Khan, the Nawab of 
Gorakhpur, desired to bury it. They fought over the 
matter until a voice come from heaven and separated 
the combatants. When the quarrel was adjusted, it 
was found that there was no corpse to dispose of. 
Fragrant flowers were found in its place. The 
Musalmans, however, made a grave, and the Hindus 
erected a shrine in friendly proximity, as if each 
party were in possession of Kabir's sacred remains. 

Kabir lived to such a great age — one hundred 
and nineteen years, five months, and twenty-seven 
days — that there are several fabulous accounts of 
his duration of life. Indeed some of his followers 
believe that he is still in existence. The following 
mnemonic lines, however, which are amply authenti- 
cated, show that Kabir went the way of all mortals : — 

Pandrahi sau pachhatar bikhe kiya Magahar ko gaun ; 
Magsar sudi ekadashi rali paun men paun. 

Kabir went to Magahar in the Sambat year 1575 (a.d. 1518). 

1 Kabir desired absorption in God, and not heaven where he should 
be again subject to transmigration. 2 Ramkali. 


On the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of 
Maghar his spirit blended with the spirit of the world. 1 

Nabhaji wrote on the circumstance : — 

Trusting to his devotion Kabir relinquished his body in 

And now rejoiceth in the lap of the Immortal. 

The Dadupanthis, or followers of the saint Dadu, 
also corroborate the fact of Kabir's death at the 
time above stated and in the town of Magahar. 

It is said that Kabir after some days rose from 
the dead, and appeared to a disciple called Ratan 
in Mathura, and gave him divine instruction. Kabir 
then and there met Dharm Das, whom he had 
previously appointed his successor, and made him 
more completely acquainted with the principles of 
his religion. He laid down forty-two articles which 
he called the pillars of faith, and having fully ex- 
plained them to his disciples finally departed to his 
eternal home. 

Besides Kabir's compositions, preserved in the 
Granth Sahib, there is a long list of works attributed 
to him, the most famous of which is the Kabir 
Bijak. Many of his verses are repeated by wander- 
ing faqirs. 

On the subject of caste Kabir wrote : — 

The courageous man who effaceth caste and pride shall 
prove a saint. 

On the subject of idolatry he said : — 

If God be found by worshipping a stone, I will worship 
a mountain ; 

1 Professor H. H. Wilson has given different mnemonic verses, 
which allow Kabir a fabulous age {Religion of the Hindus, Vol. I, 
pp. 71-2). In the Bharat Khanda cha Iravachin Kosk, the date of 
Kabir's death is given as the Saka year 1370, a. d. 1448, that is, 
twenty-one years before Guru Nanak's birth. If the date given in the 
text be accepted, Guru Nanak was forty-nine years of age when Kabir 



Better than that stone is a hand-mill which grindeth 
corn for the world to eat. 

Many similar verses in the mouths of the populace 
in upper India, and indeed all Kabir's compositions, 
show him to have been a daring and original thinker. 
It must be mentioned, however, that his writings 
are frequently of a mystical character, and much 
concentration of thought and knowledge of the 
spiritual and social condition of his age are necessary 
for their elucidation. The author has accepted the 
interpretation of Kabir's hymns from the gyanis of 
the Panjab, but possibly the saint's followers in other 
parts of India may differ on some details. 

Kabir held the doctrine of akinsa or the non- de- 
struction of life, which extended even to that of 
flowers. The Sikh Gurus, on the contrary, allowed, 
and even encouraged, the use of animal flesh as 

The visitor to Kabir's temple in Banaras is shown 
what purports to be his picture. Dharm Das 1 and 
Surat Gopal, another of his disciples, are represented 
kneeling at his feet in an attitude of supplication, 
while his son Kamal, who, the Kabirpanthis believe, 
was a child re-animated by him, is fanning him. The 
visitor may also see a picture of Kabir and Rav Das, 
a friend and fellow disciple and townsman of his. 
Rav Das is represented as a very attenuated old 
man, naked except for a red cloth round his middle, 
wearing a rosary in two folds round his neck, and 
beads on his wrists and arms. The saintly royal 
lady, Jhali, queen of Chitaur, richly dressed, is 
offering him food on a platter. 

1 It is this man who compiled Kabir's writings, it is said, in Sambat 
1521 (a.d. 1464) when Kabir was sixty-six years of age. 


Sri Ra 

Without God's assistance men are lost in worldly 


The mother thinketh that her son is growing big, 
But this she thinketh not, that day by day his life is de- 

She calleth him her own and fondleth him excessively, 
while the god of death looketh on and laugheth. 

So much hast Thou, 0 God, illuded the world ; 

How can it ever know Thee since mammon hath bewitched 
it? 1 

Saith Kabir, abandon the pleasure of sin, for in such 
companionship thou must assuredly die. 

0 mortal, repeat the name of the Lord, put aside mention 
of others, so shalt thou pass over the terrible ocean of this 

If it please God, man feeleth divine love, 
The error of superstition departeth from within him, 
Divine knowledge is spontaneously produced, intelligence 

And by the favour of the guru the heart is touched by 
God's love. 
In such companionship there is no death ; 
Obey the Master's order and thou shalt meet Him. 

The following was addressed to a Jogi who offered 
wine to Kabir. 


Hear a wonderful thing, O Pandit, I cannot now describe 

Who hath bewitched demigods, men, celestial heralds, and 
musicians, and girdled the three worlds. 

1 It is explained that this passage does not cast blame on God, 
because it is men's acts which really lead them astray. 



The sovereign God's lyre playeth without being struck ; 1 

And he on whom He looketh with favour loveth its sound. 

I have made my brain a furnace, the breath of my left 
and right nostrils two stills, and my heart the golden vat, 

Into which a very pure stream hath trickled ; I have 
distilled the sweetest essence ; 2 

A.nd — what is without parallel — I have made suspension 
of my breath my wine-cup. 

Say is there any Jogi in the three worlds who would be 
satisfied and, not long for more? 

Such knowledge of the Supreme Being hath manifested 
itself ; saith Kabir, I am imbued with it. 

All the rest of the world is led astray in error, but my mind 
is intoxicated with God's elixir. 


Devotion is the water which has quenched Kabir's 
burning thirst for God. 


I have been on fire, and have now found the name of God as 
water to extinguish it : 

The name of God is the water which hath cooled my burn- 
ing body. 

Men go to the forest to chasten their hearts, 
But without God they cannot find such water as will do so. 
The water of God's name hath saved His burning slave 
From the fire which hath consumed demigods and men. 
In the terrible ocean there is an ocean of happiness ; 4 
I continue to drink, but the water is not exhausted. 
Saith Kabir, worship God. 

God's name is the water which hath extinguished my 

1 God gladdens man's heart by divine knowledge without any 
perceptible interference with him. 2 God's name. 

3 The line is also translated — He is a unique Jogi in the three 
worlds who hath tasted such essence. Is there any king equal to him ? 

4 The terrible ocean is very bitter — within it is found the sweet 
water of God's name. 


Yet Kabir's thirst for God increases. 


0 God, thirst for the water of Thy name departeth not 
from me ; 

Nay for that water my ardour rageth the more. 
Thou art the ocean, I am a fish therein ; 

1 dwell in the water, I perish without it. 
Thou art the cage, I am Thy parrot ; 
What can the cat Death do to me ? 
Thou art a tree, I am the bird thereon ; 
Unfortunate is he who seeth Thee not. 
Thou art the True Guru, I am Thy novice. 
Saith Kabir, meet me, 0 God, at the last moment. 

A thief when hotly pressed sought refuge in 
Kabir's house. It would have been foreign to 
Kabir's character to refuse shelter to any one who 
sought it. Moreover he did not know the character 
of his guest, and accordingly gave him the usual 
permission to remain in his house. It happened 
that Kabir's daughter was then on a visit to him, 
and when he entertained the thief at the same time, 
the circumstance led to much unfavourable com- 
ment. Kabir addressed the following hymn to his 
detractors : — 


Since I recognized both the thief and my son-in-law as one, 

Why are people distressed at it ? 

If I am dishonoured and have lost my honour, 

Let no one follow in my footsteps. 

If I am bad the badness is confined to myself ; 

I have no partnership or connexion with any of you. 

You know nothing about honour or dishonour ; 

But you shall know when your gilding is laid bare. 1 

Saith Kabir, that is honour which is acceptable to God ; 

Forsaking all else worship only Him. 

1 Also translated — 

My honour or dishonour bringeth no shame on you. 

You shall know who is in the right when all gilding is cast off. 



A satire on the ritualistic practices of the Hindus. 


If union with God be obtained by going about naked, 
All the deer 1 of the forest shall be saved. 
What mattereth it whether man goeth naked or weareth 
a deerskin, 

If he recognize not God in his heart ? 

If perfection be obtained' by shaving the head, 

Why should not sheep obtain salvation ? 

If, O brethren, the continent man is saved, 

Why should not a eunuch obtain the supreme reward ? 

Saith Kabir, hear, O my brethren, 

Who hath obtained salvation without God's name ? 


They who bathe in the evening and the morning, 

Are like frogs in the water. 

When men have no love for God's name, 

They shall all go to the god of death. 

They who love their persons and deck themselves out in 
various guises, 

Feel not mercy even in their dreams. 

Many leading religious men call them quadrupeds, 

And say that only holy men shall obtain happiness in this 
ocean of trouble. 

Saith Kabir, why perform so many ceremonies ? 

Forsaking all other essences quaff the great essence of 
God's name. 

God ' prefers before all temples the upright heart 
and pure '. 


What availeth devotion, what penance, what fasting and 

To him in whose heart there is worldly love ? 
O man, apply thy heart to God ; 
Thou shalt not obtain Him by artifice. 

1 Mirg also means beasts generally. 



Put away covetousness and the example of others ; 
Lay aside lust, wrath, and pride. 

By the religious practices of the superstitious boasting is 
increased ; 
They join together and worship a stone. 
Saith Kabir, by devotion I have obtained the Lord ; 
By becoming simple in heart I have met God. 

The name Brahman should only be applied to 
a holy man. 


While dwelling in the womb man hath not family or 
caste ; 

All men have sprung from the seed of Brahm. 
Say, O Pandit, since when hast thou been a Brahman ; 
Waste not thy life in calling thyself a Brahman. 
If thou art a Brahman born of a Brahmani mother, 
Why hast thou not come by some other way ? 1 
How art thou a Brahman ? How am I Sudar ? 
How am I of blood and you of milk ? 2 
Saith Kabir, only he who meditateth on God 
Is a Brahman in my estimation. 

' All are men condemned alike to groan.' 


Man can never sleep comfortably in spiritual ignorance ; 

The rich and the poor both weep alike. 

When man's tongue no longer uttereth God's name, 

He shall continue to bewail birth and death. 

When life departeth, say whose shall be man's wealth 

Which appeareth like the shadow of a tree ? 3 

As the life of a musical instrument is contained in itself, 

How can any one know the secrets of the dead ? 4 

1 That is, why wert thou born of woman ? The Brahmans are 
supposed to have issued from Brahma's mouth. 

2 Among the Hindus blood is considered impure, and milk pure. 

3 Man's weahh shall pass away with his life like the shadow of 
a tree. 

4 The life or sound of a musical instrument is contained within it. 
If the string breaks, no life or sound remains, and no one can tell 


As the swan presideth over the lake, so doth Death over the 

Drink God's elixir, O Kabir. 

Without purification of the heart pilgrimages are 
of no avail. 


The Lord of light having created the races of men infused 
light into them, 

Which sometimes produceth glass ornaments, and some- 
times pearls. 1 

What abode is that which is called secure, 

Where fear is dispelled, and one abideth without fear ? 

The heart is not satisfied with pilgrimages to the banks of 
sacred streams ; 

Man remaineth entangled with good and bad acts. 

Demerits and merits are both the same ; 2 

In thine own heart is God, the philosopher's stone ; 
abandon the hope of obtaining merits from any one else. 

0 Kabir, chide not the name of Him who is without 
qualities ; 

Enjoy thyself in intercourse with that Lord. 
Kabir desires not heaven but absorption in God. 


The men who have no correct notion of the Supreme Being, 
Think of entering heaven by mere words. 

whither it has gone. When human life fails, the soul departs, and no 
mortal knows its destination. 

1 Good and bad fruit spring from human acts, which again proceed 
from the light or understanding that God has given. The first verse 
of this hymn is also translated : — 

There is a species of animal for every spark of light, and a spark of 
light for every species of animal. 

2 Good acts are compared to gold, bad acts to iron fetters; but 
both good and bad acts retard man's progress towards absorption in 
God. These two lines are also translated : — 

They are entangled in religious ceremonies good and bad, 
And their acts whether bad or good have the same result. 
That is, they commit sins of various descriptions at places of pil- 
grimage, and their pilgrimages are therefore of no avail. 



I know not where heaven is ; 

Everybody saith he longeth to go there, 

But there is no satisfaction in such conversation — 

The heart is only satisfied when pride departeth. 

As long as man desireth to go to heaven, 

So long shall he find no dwelling at God's feet. 

Saith Kabir, to whom shall I tell this, 

That heaven is in the company of the saints ? 

The body is perishable. 


Man is born and groweth up, and when he hath grown up 
he dieth ; 

We see that the world passeth away in this wise. 

Diest thou not of shame talking of thy house ? 

At the last moment nothing is thine. 

With great efforts the body is cherished, 

But after death it is burned in the fire. 

The limbs to which thou appliest ground aloe-wood, 
sandal, and fragrant soap, 

Shall all be burned with wood. 

Saith Kabir, hear me, O virtuous man, 1 

While the whole world looketh on thy body shall be 

Since all must die, why mourn ? There is no death 
for the holy. 


When another dieth why mournest thou ? 

Do so, if thou art to live thyself. 

I shall not die like the rest of the world ; 

I have now met Him who reanimateth. 

The body is perfumed with sandal ; 

In such pleasures the Primal Joy is forgotten. 

There is one well and five water-carriers ; 

Spoken ironically. 



Even when the well rope 1 is broken, the silly beings still 
draw water. 2 

Saith Kabir, I have gained one piece of wisdom by reflec- 
tion — 

There is no more a well or water-carriers for me. 3 
Kabir's transmigration. 


I was in immobile and mobile creatures, in worms and in 
moths ; 

I passed through many births of various kinds. 

In this way I occupied many bodies, 

But when, O God, I assumed human birth, 

I was a Jogi, a Jati, a penitent, a Brahmachari, 

Sometimes a king, an emperor, and sometimes a beggar. 

The apostates shall die, but the saints shall all live, 

And drink the elixir of God with their tongues. 

Saith Kabir, O God, have mercy on us ; 

We have grown weary ; make us now whole ! 

Deadly sins veiled under allegories. 


Kabir hath beheld such wonderful things — 
Water churned by mistake for cream ; 4 
A donkey grazing on a green crop, 5 
Which on rising every morning killeth itself laughing and 
braying ; 

A mad buffalo which could not be guided, 6 
Gambolling as it grazed and falling into hell ; 

1 Here the well is the body; the well-rope, life; the five water- 
carriers the five evil passions. Others understand the well to mean the 
world, and translate this line as follows : — 

When the well-rope (sensual desire) is broken, the water-carriers 
(the five organs of perception) grow weary of doing evil. 

2 Even when life is drawing to a close the evil passions are still 

3 Since Kabir has obtained salvation during life. 

4 Stones are worshipped instead of God. 

5 Men in power extorting money from the poor. 

6 The perverse who listen not to the advice of their spiritual guides. 


A sheep ever sucking its lamb's milk. 1 
Saith Kabir, such sport hath been shown. 
By repeating God's name my understanding hath become 
enlightened : 

Saith Kabir, I have obtained understanding from the 
guru. 2 

(Hymn No. XV is in Kabir's Life). 3 
The body is false, God alone is true. 


The limbs anointed with ground aloe-wood, sandal, and 
fragrant soap, 

Shall be burnt with wood. 

What is there to be proud of in this body and in wealth ? 
Both shall remain on earth and not go with the soul to 

the other world. 
They who sleep at night and work by day, 
Who utter not God's name for a moment, 
Who eat betel, and stretch out their hands for more, 
Shall at the hour of death be firmly bound as thieves. 
If under the guru's instruction thou joyfully sing the 

praises of God, 
And utter the name of Him who filleth all creation, thou 

shalt be happy. 
He in whose heart God mercifully establisheth His name, 
Giveth the odour and perfume of God a place in his heart. 
Saith Kabir, think, O blind man, 
God is true, all worldly occupations are false. 

The blissful peace of (he holy. 


Instead of death it is God who hath come for me ; 
Sorrow hath been removed and I have found a refuge in 

1 Women who sell their daughters and live on the proceeds. 

2 The fifth Guru is said to have composed a portion of this hymn. 

3 Hymns missing from this collection will be found either in the Life 
of Kabir or that of Guru Nanak. 


Mine enemies have turned into friends ; 
The minds of the infidels have altered and become well- 
disposed towards me. 
I have now obtained all comfort, 

And peace hath come over me since I have known 

My body suffered millions of ills ; 

They have now been converted into permanent happiness 
.and composure. 

When man knoweth himself, 

He shall not suffer from illness or the three fevers. 

My mind hath now returned to the Eternal ; 

When in life I was dead, 1 it was then I knew God. 

Saith Kabir, I have now entered happiness and rest ; 

I have no fear myself, and I inspire no fear in others. 3 

It is said that Krishan Das Bairagi asked Kabir : — 


When the body dieth, to what abode shall the pious man's 
soul go ? 

Kabir — It shall unite with Him who is beyond expression 
and indestructible : 

He who knoweth God understandeth this, 

As the dumb man when pleased with sugar must keep his 
pleasure to himself. 

Such divine knowledge only God Himself expoundeth. 

0 man, arrest thy breath at the junction of the nostrils ; 
Appoint such a guru as shall render another unnecessary ; 
Utter such a word as shall render another unnecessary ; 
Embrace such divine knowledge as shall render any 

more unnecessary ; 
So die that thou shalt not have to die again ; 
Turn back the Ganges and unite it with the Jamna ; 3 

1 When I abandoned pride. 

2 I do not threaten men with spiritual tortures for themselves or 
their deceased relatives if I do not receive money for my ministra- 

3 Unite the breath of the left and right nostrils, as the Jogis do. 


And think that thou art bathing without water at their 
confluence. 1 

Be it thy duty to look on all men as equal ; 

Reflect upon the Real Thing ; what else is there to reflect 
on ? 

Water, fire, wind, earth, and the firmament — 

If thou abide like these, 2 thou shalt be near God. 

Saith Kabir, meditate on the Stainless One, 

And go to that place whence there shall be no returning. 

How Kabir found God. 


God cannot be obtained even by offering one's weight in 

But I have purchased Him with my soul ; 
And now that I recognize Him as mine own, 
My mind is naturally at ease. 

Brahma, however much he talketh, hath not found God's 
limit ; 

But by my devotion God came to me as I sat at home. 
Saith Kabir, I have cast off my wavering disposition ; 
It is only in God's service I am now a sleeping partner. 

The holy cannot die for they are saved by divine 


That death which terrifieth the whole world, 
The guru's instruction hath set before me in a clear light. 
Now how shall I die although my mind accepteth death ? 
It is they who know not God who are always dying. 
Everybody talketh of dying, 

It is they who die in divine knowledge who are immortal. 

Saith Kabir, my mind is happy ; 

Doubt is dispelled, and supreme happiness abideth. 

1 Make the breath of both nostrils meet in the brain, and thus 
obtain exaltation of spirit without bathing at the confluence of the 
Ganges and Jamna, as so many pilgrims do. 

2 If thou adopt their properties, and remain sinless like them. 



Kabir's body is burning all over to meet God : 
it is useless to try to heal any particular part of it. 


There is no special part of my body to which I may apply 
healing ointment ; 

I have examined my body but found no such place. 

He who feeleth pain knoweth it ; 

The service of God is a barbed arrow ; 

I consider all women 1 to be alike ; 

Who knoweth which shall be dear to the Bridegroom ? 

Saith Kabir, the Husband, forsaking all other women, 

Shall meet her on whose forehead such lot hath been 

It was believed that widows who immolated 
themselves on their husbands' pyres obtained salva- 
tion. Kabir traverses this belief. 


How can a woman without chastity be a sati ? 
O pandit, see and consider this in thy heart. 
If a woman have no love for her husband, how can her 
husband's love for her increase ? 

As long as there is worldly love, there can be no divine love. 
He who in his heart believeth mammon to be real, 
Shall not even in his dreams meet God. 
Kabir calleth her a happy wife, 

Who giveth up to God her body, soul, wealth, and house- 

Devotion to God is the only dispeller of the deadly 


The whole world is subject to the deadly sins ; 

The deadly sins have ruined whole families. 

O man, where hast thou wrecked and sunk thy boat ? 

Having broken with God thou hast joined the deadly sins, 

In whose fire demigods and men burn. 

1 That is, all human beings. 


Water 1 is near, but, 0 beasts, why not drink it, removing 
its scum ? 2 

By contemplation water fit for drinking issueth forth ; 
That water alone is pure, saith Kabir. 

Only the holy who meditate on God are useful 
in the world. 


Why was not the mother of the family barren, 3 
Whose sons meditate not on divine knowledge ? 
Why did not the wicked man who hath performed no 
service for God, 
Die at his birth ? 

Many 4 miscarriages have occurred — how is it he escaped ? 
He liveth, it is true, but like a raven in the world. 
Saith Kabir, they who are beautiful and shapely, 
Shall become hunchbacked and deformed without God's 

Kabir' s devotion to the saints. 


I am ever a sacrifice 

To those who repeat the Master's name. 
He is pure who singeth the praises of the pure God ; 
He is my brother and dear to my heart. 
I am the dust of the lotus feet 
Of those whose hearts are filled with God. 
My caste, it is true, is that of weaver, but my heart is 
resigned ; 

Kabir very tranquilly repeateth God's praises. 

Kabir thus addressed a Jogi who advised him to 
drink wine to concentrate his thoughts. 


I collected much molasses, 5 and turned my body into 
firewood ; 

1 Divine knowledge 

2 Man's evil passions which conceal the water of divine knowledge. 

3 Vidhwa. Literally — a widow not allowed to many. 

4 In the original much much, as in Spanish. 
8 From which spirits are made. 



Then wine trickled from the roof of the house of pleasure 1 
by means of the furnace of my heart. 

Describe him as intoxicated with the wine of divine love 

Who drinketh the sweetness of God's name and meditateth 
on divine knowledge. 

Since the server 2 of the wine of divine love met me and 
gave it to me, 

My days and nights are passing away intoxicated with 

I carefully applied my thoughts to the Pure One, 
And then, saith Kabir, I obtained Him the Fearless. 

A Jogi maintained that deliverance could not be 
obtained without chastening the heart, and that the 
heart could not be chastened without the practice of 
Jog. Kabir criticizes the statement. 


Without devotion the qualities of the heart cling to the 

Who secureth perfection by merely chastening his heart ? 3 
What holy man hath succeeded in chastening his heart ? 
Say who hath saved any one by merely chastening his 

Every one thinketh in his heart that he is going to chasten it, 
But the heart is not chastened without devotion. 
Saith Kabir, let him who knoweth this secret, 
Worship in his heart God, the Lord of the three worlds. 

The following was addressed to an atheist who 
maintained the theory of spontaneous creation. 


Who was the painter who painted 
The stars which appear in the sky ? 4 

1 The brain. 

2 Kalalin, corresponding to the European barmaid. Even in 
India in former times the distiller or publican used lo employ a woman 
to serve wine to his customers. She probably here means Ramanand, 
Kabir's guru. 3 Man must also repeat God's name. 

4 According lo the Muhammadan conception of the heavens, the 
sky is a fixed vault on which the stars are painted. 


Say, O pandit, to what is the sky attached ? 1 

Fortunate is the wise man who knoweth this. 

The sun and moon diffuse light ; 

God hath extended Himself in everything. 

Saith Kabir, he shall know this, 

In whose heart is God, and in whose mouth is God. 

The evil wrought by the Simritis. 


0 my brethren, the Simriti is the daughter of the Veds ; 
She hath brought a chain and a rope for men, 

And hath of herself imprisoned them in her capital ; 2 
She hath flung the noose of worldly love, and discharged 

the arrow of death ; 

The former cannot be cut, and the latter cannot be broken. 
The Simriti hath become a serpent, eaten the world, 
And plundered the whole universe before my very eyes ; 
But, saith Kabir, I have escaped from her by uttering God's 


The following was addressed to an admirer who 
had offered Kabir a horse. 


Let me put a bit and bridle on my steed, 3 

And abandoning all else course him in heaven. 4 

Let me make self-reflection my saddle, 

And put my foot in the stirrup of divine love. 

Come, my steed, let me drive thee to heaven ; 

If thou jib, I will strike thee with the whip of love. 

Saith Kabir, they are good riders 

Who keep themselves aloof from the Veds and the books 
of the Musalmans. 

The following was written after witnessing a 
cremation : — 


1 have seen fire applied to the mouth 
Which used to eat the five nectars. 5 

1 What supports the sky ? 2 Probably Banaras is meant. 

3 The mind. 4 The brain. 

5 These are bhahhya, what is masticated by the front teeth, the 



Remove, O God, my one misery 

Of abiding in the womb and being burned in its fire. 

The body is destroyed in various ways and manners — 

Some burn it, and some bury it in the earth. 

Saith Kabir, ' O God, show me Thy feet ; 

Afterwards why not send death ? 1 

Kabir was engaged in his devotions when a hostile 
neighbour took the opportunity to set his house 
on fire. Kabir heard of it and returning home suc- 
ceeded in extinguishing the flames. It is said that 
the hostile neighbour's house took fire from Kabir's, 
and was totally consumed. The following hymn 
was composed on the occasion : — 


God Himself is the fire, Himself the wind ; 
When the Master setteth fire to the house, who can save it ? 
What if even my body burn when I am repeating God's 
name ? 

My mind was absorbed in God's name ; 

Whose house burneth, and who suffereth loss ? 2 

God playeth like an acrobat. 

Saith Kabir, utter two letters ; 3 

As sure as I have a Master, He will save me. 

Kabir thinks he has not performed sufficient 


I have not applied my mind to the science of union with 
God or contemplation of Him ; 
Without hate of theworld I shall not escape from mammon. 
How shall I live 

back teeth, and the tongue ; bhojya, what is masticated by the back 
teeth and the tongue ; lehiya, what is licked or sipped by the tongue 
alone ; peya, what is drunk ; and choshya, what is sucked. 

Another list of the five nectars is — milk, cream, clarified butter, 
honey, and sugar. 

1 Kabir does not fear death provided he has first seen God's feet. 

2 All property belongs to God. 

3 R and m which with a long vowel make Ram, God. 


If I have not God's name as my support ? 
Saith Kabir, I have searched in heaven, 
And have seen none equal to God. 

The following was written on seeing ravens sitting 
on a skull and feeding on its contents : — 


Ravens were cleaning their beaks on the skull 

On which a turban had been once very daintily bound. 

Why be proud of this body and of wealth ? 

Why dost thou not hold fast God's name ? 

Saith Kabir, hear, O my man, 

This shall be thy condition at last. 

Kabir discourses on the soul. 

Gauri Ashtapadi 

Man prayeth for temporal happiness, but sorrow cometh 
to meet him. 

It pleaseth me not to pray for such happiness as shall 
bring sorrow. 

Man still intent on sin hopeth for happiness ; 

How shall he find his dwelling in the Supreme God ? 

The happiness which even Shiv and Brahma would dread, 
I supposed to be real. 

Even the four sons of Brahma, the muni Narad, and 

Never found their minds stable in their bodies until they 
had given up hopes of such happiness. 

O my brethren, let any one inquire into the condition of 
the soul. 

When it escapeth from the body, where shall it be ? 
By the favour of the guru, Jaidev and Namdev 
Discovered that, by love and devotion to God, 
The soul shall not suffer transmigration. 
He whose doubts are dispelled knoweth the truth — 
This soul hath no shape or outline ; 



By God's order it was created, and by understanding God's 

order it shall be absorbed in Him. 
If any one understand the secret of the soul, 
It shall only obtain divine happiness when absorbed in 


There is but one Soul 1 which occupieth all bodies. 
Kabir worshippeth that Soul. 

God's name is the tree of life. 


Of those who watch day and night to utter the one Name. 
How many have become perfect by the love they bore to 

Sidhs and their disciples and all the munis have grown 
weary in their efforts without God's name : 
The one Name like the tree of life saveth mankind. 
They who are regenerated by God shall never alter. 
Saith Kabir, I have recognized God's name. 

The worship of the one God inculcated. 

Gauri and Sorath 

0 shameless man, art thou not ashamed ? 

Why dost thou forsake God, and go to some one else ? 2 

It becometh not him whose God is the Most High 

To go to a strange temple. 

That Lord pervadeth all space, 

Is ever present, and never distant. 

Say, O man, what is there not in His palace 

At whose feet Lakshmi taketh refuge ? 

Every one speaketh of Him : 

He is ommipotent, our own Lord, and our Benefactor. 
Saith Kabir, that man is perfect in the world, 
In whose heart no other than God abideth. 

1 The Soul of the world. 

2 To worship idols. 


They who are absorbed in God feel not joy or 
sorrow for relations. 


Who hath a son ? who hath a father ? 
Who dieth ? who inflicteth pain ? 
God is the Illusionist who hath illuded the world. 1 
If separated from God how shall I survive, my mother ? 
Who hath a husband ? who hath a wife ? reflect on this 
truth in thy heart. 
Saith Kabir, I have become reconciled with the Illusionist ; 
The illusion vanished when I recognized Him. 

Kabir's satisfaction on feeling that he had ob- 
tained salvation. 


The sovereign God hath now become my helper ; 

Having cut away birth and death I have obtained the 
supreme state. 

God hath united me with the guild of the saints, 

And freed me from the five deadly sins. 

The ambrosial name I repeat with my tongue ; 

God hath made me His unbought 2 slave. 

The True Guru did me a favour 

By rescuing me from the ocean of the world. 

I have begun to love God's lotus feet, 

And God ever and ever dwelleth in my heart. 

The sparks of the fire of worldly love have become extin- 

And my mind hath obtained resignation by the support 
of the Name. 
In sea and land the Lord God is fully contained ; 
Wherever I look, there is the Searcher of hearts. 
It is He Himself who implanteth His service in my heart ; 
God is obtained, my brethren, according to primal destiny. 

1 Kabir believed with the Vedantists that everything was illusion. 
As all things emanated from God, it is He who continues the illusion, 
hence Kabir familiarly compares Him to an illusionist or actor. 

2 As such I shall serve Him all the better. 


The man to whom He showeth favour succeedeth in his 

Kabir's Lord is the Chreisher of the poor. 

The following was a remonstrance to a Brahman 
who had found impurity and caste defilement in 
almost everything. 


There is impurity in water, there is impurity in land, there 
is impurity in whatever is born. 
There is impurity in birth, and again in death ; 
God's subjects are ruined by this impurity. 1 
O pandit, tell me who is pure ; 

Explain to me such knowledge as thou hast on the subject, 
my friend. 

There is impurity in the eyes, there is impurity in the 
tongue, there is impurity in the ears ; 

Standing or sitting there is impurity, impurity entereth 
the kitchen. 

Every one knoweth how to be caught in impurity, but 
few how to escape from it. 

Saith Kabir, no impurity attacheth to those who meditate 
on God in their hearts. 

God is greater than any creature, and His saint 
than any place of pilgrimage. 


Decide one controversy, O Ramanand, 

If thou desire any service from thy slave. 

Is this soul or He to whom it is attached the greater ? 

Is God or he who knoweth God the greater ? 

Is Brahma or He who created him the greater ? 

Are the Veds or the source whence they came the greater ? 

Is the pilgrimage or God's saint the greater ? 

Saith Kabir, I have been unhappy on this subject. 

1 When there is impurity in everything according to the Brahmans, 
they must be very well remunerated to purify men. 



The effects of the influx of divine knowledge. 
Kabir likens his mind to a hut. 


Lo ! my brethren, a storm of divine knowledge hath 
come ; 

The screens of doubt have all been blown away, and even 
the ropes of mammon have not been left ; 

The two props of indecision 1 have been thrown down, 
and the beam 2 of worldly love hath been broken ; 

The thatched roof of avarice hath fallen to the ground, 
and the vessel of evil inclinations hath burst. 

Saith Kabir, thy slave, O Lord, hath become saturated by 
the rain 3 which fell after the storm. 

And when next he saw the sun appear, 4 his mind was 

The following was addressed to a Brahman. 
Kabir did not desire his followers to associate with 


What shall one say to such people 

As neither hear God's praises nor sing His attributes, 

But who knock down the heavens by their boasting ? 

They whom God hath excluded from His service should 
always be feared. 

They who give not a handful of water to the thirsty 

Slander him 5 who brought down the Ganges. 

Sitting or standing crooked are their ways ; 

They have ruined themselves and ruined others : 

They know nothing save evil converse ; 

They obey not even Brahma's bidding ; 

They have gone astray themselves and are leading others 

1 Whether man inclines to God or the world. 

2 On which the rafters rested. 

3 Internal peace or happiness. 

4 When he saw God after the attainment of divine knowledge. 
8 Bhaglrath. 



They set fire to their houses and sleep in them ; 1 
They laugh at others, though they have only one eye 
themselves ; 

Kabir is ashamed on beholding them. 

A lecture against the shradhs and idolatry of the 


Nobody obeyeth his parents when alive, yet he giveth 
them feasts when dead ; 

Say how shall the poor parents obtain what the ravens 
and the dogs have eaten. 

Let some one explain to me what kushal 2 means ; 

The world dieth talking of kushal ; however shall kushal 
be obtained ? 

Men make goddesses and gods of clay, and offer them 
living sacrifices — 

As your lifeless gods, so your deceased, who ask not for 
what they want themselves. 

You kill living things, and you worship lifeless things ; 
at the last moment great shall be your suffering. 

You know not the worth of God's name, and you shall be 
drowned in the sea of terror. 

You waver and know not the supreme God, wherefore you 
worship gods and goddesses. 

Saith Kabir, you have not thought of the Unknowable, 
and have become entangled in the deadly sins. 

The holy obtain their great reward. 


If while living thou be dead, while dead return to life 
by means of divine knowledge, and thus become absorbed in 
God ; 

If thou abide pure amid impurity, thou shalt not again 
fall into the terrible ocean of the world. 

1 They commit sin, and feel no compunction or repentance. 

2 A feeling of satisfaction after repletion. 

M 2 


My God, such milk should be churned — 1 

Keep thy mind steadfast under the guru's instruction ; 
in this way shalt thou quaff nectar. 2 

The guru's arrow hath pierced this adamantine age, and 
let in the light of God's word. 

The doubt which I felt, through the power of ignorance 
whether this world was a snake or a rope, is at an end ; I have 
a permanent abode in God's house. 

The guru without putting an arrow on his bow hath 
pierced this world, my brethren. 

In all directions the kite 3 fluttereth in the wind, but its 
string is fixed in the love of God. 

My perturbed mind is absorbed in God ; duality and evil 
inclinations depart. 

Saith Kabir, I have seen the Fearless One by fixing my 
attention on His name. 

Rather than practise Jog search for God through 
the guru. 


When I turned my thoughts towards God, I restrained my 
mind and my senses 4 , and my attention became lovingly 
fixed on Him. 

0 Bairagi, search for Him who neither cometh nor goeth, 
who neither dieth nor is born. 

My soul turning away from sin is absorbed in the 
universal Soul ; 

By the favour of the guru I have now obtained a different 
understanding ; otherwise I should become estranged from 

What was near 5 hath become distant, what was distant 6 
hath become near for him who accepteth God as He is. 

1 Such good actions should be performed as shall ensure man 
against being born again. 

2 That is, obtain the great boon of unswerving faith. 

3 The mind. 

4 Chakr khal is here understood to be the mind and the five senses, 
not the six mystical divisions of the body. 

6 The deadly sins are meant. 6 God. 



As sharbat made from sugar — only he who drinketh it 
knoweth its flavour. 

O Thou devoid of qualities, is there any discriminating 
person to whom I may speak of Thee ? 

Saith Kabir, only he who applieth the spiritual fuse 
seeth the blast. 

Heaven described by negatives. 


There (with God) is no rainy season, no ocean, no sun- 
shine, no shade ; there is no creation and no destruction ; 

No life, no death ; nor are sorrow and joy felt ; nor is 
there either retirement or contemplation — 

A description of celestial rest would be impossible and 
peculiar to itself — 

There nothing is weighed in the balance, and nothing is 
exhausted ; there is nothing light, nothing heavy. 

There are no nether or upper regions, neither night nor 
day ; 

There is no water, wind, or fire ; the True Guru is there 

Inaccessible and inapprehensible, He dwelleth uninter- 
ruptedly in everything ; 

He is found by the favour of the guru. 

Saith Kabir, I am a sacrifice to my guru ; may I remain 
attached to his society ! 

Human life under the allegory of an ox and his 


With merits and demerits an ox is purchased ; 1 life 
appeareth as the capital ; 2 

In this way a herd is purchased ; 3 covetousness which 
filleth man's heart is as a sack on the ox's back. 

So potent a master is my God 

1 The soul enters a human bod)'. 

2 To earn further merits or demerits. 

3 The mass of mankind are born. 


Who made the whole world dealers. 1 

Lust and wrath are both tax-gatherers ; 2 the whims of 
the mind are highway robbers. 

The herd, which spring from the five elements, pay the 
tax, 3 and are saved. 

Saith Kabir, hear, O saints, this is nowthe state of things — 

One ox 4 hath grown weary of travelling the steep road, 
and dropping his sack, proceedeth on his journey. 5 

The world under the allegory of a well, human 
life under that of a well-rope. 


A woman hath four days in her father's house ; she 
must then go to her father-in-law's — 

The blind, the stupid, and the silly know not this — 

The bride with her sarhi round her is ready to go ; 

The guests arrive ; her husband hath come to take her 
home. 6 

1 Who gave every one life as his capital. 

2 They subject the soul to punishment. 

3 Are punished by the god of death. 

4 KabTr himself, who obtained salvation while alive. 

5 The following is an alternative translation of this very difficult 
hymn. A friend of Kabir suggested to him to speculate in bullocks. 
They could at the time be purchased cheap, and Kabir could after- 
wards sell them at a profit, and thus provide himself with funds 
for the entertainment of holy men. Kabir replied : — 

Men have purchased the bullocks of their bodies with bad and good 
acts, the breath of life is their capital. 

Desires are packed in the sack of the heart, and thus are the good 
and evil produced by which oxen are purchased. 

Our God is such a head of the firm that He hath made the whole 
world His traders. 

Both lust and wrath become tax-gatherers, and mental vagaries high- 
way robbers. 

The man who associateth with the elect who know God, payeth 

the tax and his ox crosseth over. 

Saith KabTr, hear 0 ye saints, it hath now come to this with me, 
That in scaling the pass of divine knmvledge one ox at least hath 

cast away his sack of desires and proceeded on his journey. 

6 In the East, as still among the peasant classes in Ireland, women 
are allowed to remain sometime after marriage with their parents. 



Who is that we see letting down the rope into the well ? 

When the rope breaketh by the weight of the water-pot, 
the water-drawer departeth. 

If the Lord be compassionate and show mercy, woman 
shall settle her affairs ; 

She is known as a happy wife who pondereth on the 
guru's instructions. 

All men bound by their acts transmigrate ; attentively 
consider this. 

Why blame woman ? what can the poor creature do ? 
Without hope she departeth ; she hath not the firmness 
of faith in her heart. 

Cling to the feet of God, and flee to His asylum, O Kabir. 

It is the truly pious and not the Jogis or Hindu 
sectaries who shall be saved. 


The Jogi says that jog and nothing else is good and 
sweet ; 

They who shave their bodies, and the Ekshabdis, say 
that they alone have obtained perfection. 

Without God thou art lost in error, O blind one ; 

They to whom I go to release myself, are themselves 
bound by many toils. 

You call yourselves pandits, virtuous, brave, generous, 
and assert that you alone are great ; 

It is only when this pride of yours is forgotten that you 
shall be absorbed in Him from whom you sprang. 

Only he understandeth whom Thou, 0 God, causest to 
understand ; how can man obtain permanence without 
understanding ? 

When the true guru is found, darkness is dispelled ; in 
this way the gem 1 is obtained. 

Lay aside the sins of thy left hand and thy right ; 2 take 
firm hold of God's feet. 

Then comes the mukaldwa or ' hauling home '. The meaning here is 
that Death takes away his victim. 

1 God's name. 2 Thy besetting sins. 


Saith Kabir, if a dumb man eat molasses, what can he 
say if questioned ? 1 

The following was composed by Kabir on the 
death of a Jogi : — 


Where there was something there is nothing; thy body of 
five elements is no more. 

What availeth thee now the suspension of thy breath in 
the left and right nostrils and their junction ? 

The string 2 is broken, thy brain destroyed ; whither 
hath thy speech gone ? 

I feel this anxiety night and day ; who will explain and 
ease my mind ? 

Thy body is no longer in the world ; thy creative mind is 
no more. 

The Joiner dwelleth ever separate from the world • say 
who else hath this power ? 

If I try to join the elements of the body, I cannot join them ; 
if I try to separate them, they will not be separated until 
they perish. 

Who hath a master ? who hath a servant ? who waiteth 
on any one else ? 3 

Saith Kabir, my attention is directed to that place where 
God dwelleth night and day ; 

His secret He Himself fully knoweth ; He is ever im- 

Kabir was advised to become a Jogi ; the following 
was his reply : — 


Meditation and remembrance of God are my two ear- 
rings, independence of the world my patched coat ; 

Dwelling in a silent cave my devotional posture, the 
abandonment of worldly desires my sect. 

1 He cannot describe his sensations. In the same way a man who 
has obtained God will be silent with pleasure. 

2 Thy life has departed. 

3 The meaning apparently is, that there are no earthly masters or 
servants, and that man should only acknowledge God as his Master. 



My king, 1 I am a Jogi without temporal love ; I repine 
not at death and separation. 

In the regions of the universe I find my horn ; the whole 
world, which I hold as ashes, is my wallet ; 

Riddance of the three qualities and release from the world 
are my contemplative attitude. 

I have made my heart and breath the two gourds of my 
lyre, and unbroken attention on God its frame. 

The strings are strong and break not ; the lyre playeth 
spontaneously ; 

On hearing it the perfect are enraptured, and I no longer 
feel the swaying of worldly love. 

Saith Kabir, the soul which hath played in this way shall 
not be born again. 

The body under the allegory of a full piece of 


Reason went to the soul to order a body to be woven — 
Let a full piece of nine yards, ten yards, and twenty-one 
yards be woven. 2 

Let there be sixty threads, nine joinings, and seventy- 
two cross threads 3 added ; 
The weaver 4 then cometh, leaving his last abode 
Is not the body measured by yards, weighed by weight, 
and starched by two and a half sers of flour ? 6 

1 Applied respectfully to the Jogi. 

2 A full piece of cloth generally measures forty yards. The nine 
yards mean the nine apertures of the body; the ten yards, the ten 
organs of action and perception ; and the twenty-one yards, the five 
subtle elements, the five gross elements, the ten breaths of the body, 
and the mind. The twenty-one yards may also be the twenty-one 
vertebrae of some Indian anatomists. The whole forty make up the 
body which, in weaver's parlance, is compared to a full piece of cloth. 

3 The sixty threads are supposed to be sixty blood-vessels, though 
Indian anatomists count one hundred and seventy-five blood-vessels 
altogether. The nine sections are the four pieces of the legs, the four 
of the arms, and the head ; and the seventy-two cross threads are 
seventy-two chambers of the body according to the Jogis. 

4 The soul leaves its last abode, and takes possession of a new body. 

5 One ser of the present standard ; as much as a man can eat daily 
is said to be applied as starch to the tissues of his body. 


If the body obtain not starch quickly, it will quarrel and 
destroy its abode. 1 

0 man, how many days are there for thee to sit idly ? 
When shalt thou, who art adverse to the Lord, again have 
the present opportunity ? 

The vessels 2 and the wetted bobbins shall fall to pieces, 
and the weaver depart in anger ; 

Thread cometh not out of an empty bobbin, 3 and the 
cloth will not remain wound around the beam. 

0 wretched man, abide in the world, but renounce dis- 
play — Kabir giveth thee this advice. 4 

1 And then the soul and body shall separate. 

2 Kunda is an earthen pan which holds water to wet the thread. 
The thread, when wetted, is put into the bobbins. Here, kunda is 
understood to mean worldly possessions. 

3 No breath issueth from the throat after death. 

4 The following is an alternative translation of this most difficult 
hymn. Some pandits spoke contemptuously of Kablr's social position 
and said it was gross impudence on the part of a weaver to dare 
mention God's name. Kabir replied, that every one must be a weaver 
in a mystical sense in order to gain salvation. The pandits inquired 
how all men could become weavers. Kabir explained : — 

The weaver's wife (reason) went to her spouse (the mind) to have a 
piece woven, 

But the weaver was always leaving his home. 

Kabir was then ashed how he could compare the body to a piece of 
cloth. He replied: — 

It consisteth of nine yards, ten yards, and twenty-one yards. 

Sixty threads of the warp, nine joinings, sixty-two cross threads. 

Is not the body measured by yards, weighed by weight, and starched 
by two and a half sers of flour ? 

If the body obtain not starch quickly, its spouse (the mind) will 

When shall such an opportunity come again ? The days of life soon 
end and the soul departeth. 

Thou must leave thy pans and thy wet bobbins, and the soul will 
depart in anger. 

Thread issueth not from the empty bobbin, and the cloth will not 
remain wound round the beam. 

Saith the mind to reason, O wretched one, leave off this wrangling, 
abide with me here ; Kabir hath given this explanation. 



The light of God has an affinity for the light of 


Can one light which is absorbed in another be separated 
from it ? 

May that man burst and die in whose heart the name 
of God springeth not up ! 

Dark and beautiful God, my soul is attached to Thee. 

When a holy man is found, supernatural perfection is 
obtained ; this is both union with God and worldly enjoy- 

When two, the guru and the disciple, meet by means of 
God's name, the disciple's business is accomplished. 1 
People think this is a song ; it is a meditation on God, 
Like the instruction given to men at Banaras when they 
are on the point of death. 
He who attentively heareth or singeth God's name, 
Saith Kabir, shall certainly obtain the supreme state at 

Salvation can only be obtained by true devotion. 


However great man's exertions without God's name, he 
shall be drowned in the terrible ocean and not cross over. 

Thou hast practised thy religious duties and great austeri- 
ties, yet pride consumeth thy soul. 

Why hast thou forgotten the Lord who is the Giver of 
life and food ? 

Human birth is a priceless diamond or ruby ; thou hast 
lost it for a kauri. 

Not having thought of God in thy heart, thou sufferest 
from the thirst of covetousness and the hunger of error ; 

The intoxication of pride deceiveth those who keep not 
the word of the guru in their hearts. 

Sinful are they who are led away by pleasure, who are 

1 Also translated— (a) When both meet, this work is accomplished, 
namely, an alliance with Him whose name is God. (i) Both 
blessings result from meeting God or obtaining His name. 


tempted by sensual delights, and who enjoy the savour of 

They who by destiny keep the company of the saints, 
float over like iron attached to timber. 

Through error I have wandered among human and lower 
births ; I am now weary and overspent with travail. 

Saith Kabir, on meeting the guru I have felt great joy, 
and my love and devotion have saved me. 

The deceits of the world. 


Like the semblance of a female elephant, 0 foolish man, 
the Lord of the world made this play. 1 

The elephant impelled by the sweets of love is captured, 
O foolish man, and his head hath to endure the goad. 

Flee from evil passions, attach thyself to God ; heed this 
advice, O foolish man. 

Why dost thou not, O foolish man, fearlessly worship 
God, and take possession of His ship ? 2 

The monkey stretcheth out his hand, 0 foolish man, and 
taketh a handful of corn ; 3 

He is anxious to escape, O foolish man, but he shah be 
made to dance at the door of every house. 

As the parrot is caught by a trap, 4 O foolish man, so is 
man by worldly occupations. 5 

As the fleeting dye of the saffiower, O foolish man, so 
hath this world been shown. 

1 The play of the world. A likeness of a female elephant is made 
out of cardboard to catch wild elephants. They are allured by the 
likeness to the verge of a pit into which they fall and are secured. 

2 To float thee over the terrible ocean of the world. 

3 Monkeys are caught by putting dry grain into a vessel and 
partially burying it in the earth. The monkey puts in his hand, and 
fills it with grain. He is then caught, not having wit enough to open 
his fingers and let go his grasp. So, too, if man would abandon his 
vices, he would be saved. 

4 The nalni is a contrivance made of bamboo put over water. 
When the parrot perches on it, it revolves, and the bird's body is 
below it and immediately over the water. The parrot clings to the 
nalni so as to avoid falling into the water, and is thus caught. 

6 Literally — this is Maya's doing. 



There are many places for ablutions, 0 foolish man, and 
many gods to worship. 

Saith Kabir, thou shalt not be saved by means of these, 
0 foolish man ; thou shalt be saved by the worship of God. 

A raja offered temporal wealth to Kabir. The 
following was his reply— 


Lay up for yourselves the wealth of God's name, which 
fire will not burn, which hot winds will not dry up, 

And which thieves will not approach ; that wealth shall 
never depart. 

My wealth is God, the Supporter of the earth ; He is 
the real wealth. 

The pleasure obtained from the service of God is not to 
be found in regal state : 

Shiv and the four sons of Brahma in their search for 
this wealth abandoned the world. 

He in whose heart is God and on whose tongue is God, 
falleth not into Death's noose. 

The guru's private wealth of divine knowledge and devo- 
tion is like water to the thirsty, like a prop to the fickle 
mind ; 

The minds of those on whom He bestoweth it, conceive 
good resolutions, and their doubts, entanglements, and fears 

Saith Kabir, O you who are intoxicated with wealth, 
reflect in your hearts and understand this. 

In your mansions are hundreds of thousands and millions 
of horses and elephants ; in mine is the one God. 

The love of worldly things leads men to damna- 


A monkey through greed will not let go the pulse in his 

Man is responsible for acts done through greed. 
Without devotion to God human life passeth in vain. 


Without association with the saints and worship of God, 
truth nowhere abideth. 

As the flowers of the desert bloom, and no one enjoyeth 
their odour, 

So men wander idly in many births, and Death destroy eth 
them again and again. 

God hath given wealth, youth, sons, and women fair to 
view ; 

By these man, prompted by the senses, becometh arrested 
and entangled. 

The body is a house of grass, life's end the fire which 
assaileth it on every side. 

Saith Kabir, to cross over the terrible ocean I have taken 
the shelter of the true guru. 

A brief account of the process of procreation. 


There is dirty water and white earth ; 
From this earth a puppet is made. 
I am nothing and I have nothing ; 
My body, my wealth, all that is dear to me is Thine, 0 

Into this earth breath is infused, 
And forcibly setteth the false contrivance in motion. 
Such and such a person may have accumulated five lakhs 
of treasure, 
But at last his pitcher bursteth. 1 
Saith Kabir, the sole foundation thou hast laid 
Shall be destroyed in a moment, O thou proud one. 

By devotion to God through the guru Kabir has 
obtained salvation. 


0 my soul, repeat God's name 
As did Dhru and Prahlad of old. 

O Thou compassionate to the poor, my reliance is on 

1 The body dies. 



I have therefore embarked all my family on the guru s 

If it please God He will have His order obeyed, 
And cause this raft to float over. 

By the favour of the guru such knowledge hath filled me 
That all my transmigration is at an end. 
Saith Kabir, worship God ; 

In this world and the next, everywhere, it is He alone 
who knoweth. 1 

The soul having obtained a human body has 
obtained its last chance of salvation. 


When man leaveth the womb and cometh into the world, 
As soon as the air toucheth him.he forgetteth his Master — 

0 my soul, sing God's praises ! 

When thou didst penance reversed in the womb, 
Thou didst escape its fire. 

Having wandered through the eighty-four lakhs of 

If thou stumble now, thou shalt find nor house nor home. 
Saith Kabir, worship God 

Who is not seen coming or going, and who knoweth all 

Think not of heaven or hell, of prosperity or 
adversity ; leave everything to God. 


Long not for a dwelling in heaven, and fear not to dwell in 
hell ; 

What will be, will be ; 0 my soul, hope not at all. 
Sing the praises of God from whom the supreme reward is 

What is devotion, what penance and austerities, what 
fasting and ablutions, 

Unless thou know the way to love and serve God ? 

1 The verse is also translated — I deem this world and the next all 
the same. 


Be not glad at the sight of prosperity and grieve not at 
the sight of adversity ; 

As is prosperity so is adversity; what God proposeth shall 
be accomplished. 

Saith Kabir, through the saints I now know in my heart 

That the worshipper in whose heart God dwelleth, fer- 
formeih the best worship. 

Commit not sin for the sake of thy relations or 
others and mourn not for them. 


0 my soul, thou hast no heifer ; drag not the weight of 
others' sins behind thee. 

As a bird percheth on a tree, such is the world. 1 

1 have drunk the elixir of God 

By which other elixirs are forgotten. 

Since we are not permanent ourselves, why should we 
mourn the death of others ? 

Whatever is born perisheth ; why should we be sorry and 
weep for that ? 

When man become th attached to holy men, he drinketh 
God's elixir, and is devoted to Him from whom he hath 

Saith Kabir, I have thought of God in my heart ; resign- 
ing the world remember Him. 

Kabir longs for God as a loving wife for her 
absent spouse. 


Woman with her eyes filled with tears and heaving sighs 
awaiteth her lord ; 

Her heart is not happy ; she retraceth not her steps in 
the hope of seeing him. 

Why fliest thou not away, O black raven, 2 so that I may 
quickly meet my beloved ? 

1 Temporary or transitory. 

2 If a raven come to a woman's casement when her husband is 
absent, she says ' Fly away, 0 raven.' If it fly away in obedience to 
her order, it is an omen that her husband will soon return. Here 
the word raven is understood to mean man's evil passions. 



Saith Kabir, perform God's service to obtain the dignity of 
eternal life ; 

The name of God is the one support ; repeat it with thy 

There are many excellences in the body ; God 
resides within it and Kabir is delighted to behold 


There are many shrubs of sweet basil ; near and within 
them is the village of Barsana. 1 

The milkmaid Radha on seeing Krishan's beauty became 
enamoured : ' Leave me not ; go not hither and thither. 

' My heart is attached to thy feet ; O holder of the bow, 
very fortunate is she who meeteth thee.' 

Enchanting is Bindraban where the fascinating Krishan 
grazed his kine. 

Since thou art my Lord, O holder of the bow, Kabir (great) 
is my name. 

Vain is the devotion of anchorets and idolaters. 


How many wear the bark of trees as clothes, but what 
availeth it to dwell in the forest ? 

What availeth it to man to offer incense to idols ? What 
to drench his body with ablutions ? 

O my soul, I know that thou shalt depart ; 

0 silly one, think of thy fall. 2 

Wheresoever I look, I see none but those who are en- 
tangled in worldly love ; 

Men of divine knowledge and meditation, great preachers 
are all engrossed in this world's affairs. 

Saith Kabir, without the name of the one God this world 
is blinded by mammon. 

1 In the neighbourhood of Mathura and Bindraban. The original 
has Banaras, but the word does not suit the context. Bana ras gaon 
is also read — In the midst of them is made an excellent village. 

2 Aligat means descent, but the word may also here mean God, from 
the Sanskrit avyakl, imperceptible, transcendental. 



Fearlessly worship God. 


O man, victim of mammon, abandon doubt, come forth 
and dance. 1 

Doth a hero dread the conflict of the battle-field, doth 
a sati collect utensils when she is about to die ? 
Cease to waver, 0 foolish man ; 

Now that thou hast taken the red lead 2 in thy hand, 
burn and die, and obtain perfection. 

The world is ruined by being absorbed in lust, wrath, and 

Saith Kabir, forsake not the sovereign God who is the 
highest of all the high. 

Kabir places himself altogether in God's power. 


Thy commands are acceptable to men ; I consider not 
their propriety. 

Thou art the river, Thou art the pilot, from Thee is salva- 

0 man, embrace the service of God, 
Whether He be angry with thee or love thee. 

Thy name, O God, is my support, as a woman rejoice th on 
beholding her son. 3 

Saith Kabir, I am the slave of Thy house, preserve me 
or destroy me. 

A homily against the worship of Krishan. 


Nand 4 became very weary wandering through the wombs 
of the eighty-four lakhs of existences ; 

1 Scorn the opinion of the world. 

2 It was the custom for a sati on the pyre to take some vermilion 
paint {sindiir) in her hand, make a tilak on her forehead with it, then 
apply it to the foreheads of the bystanders and sprinkle it on them. 
After this ceremony she might not change her mind and must die. 
The sindur is generally carried in the rind of a coco-nut and is employed 
at marriages. Its use at the concremation of widows was emblematic 
of a second marriage to which death is likened. 

3 Also translated — As a flower bloometh in the water. 

4 The adoptive father of Krishan. 



Through his devotion Krishan became incarnate ; great 
was the poor man's good fortune. 

You who say that God was the son of Nand, whose son 
was Nand ? 

When the earth and the firmament and the ten quarters 
of the world were not, then where was this Nand ? 

He whose name is the Bright One falleth not into trouble, 
and undergoeth not birth. 

Kabir's Master is such a Lord as hath neither father nor 

Kabir hails slander to preserve his humility and 
lead him to God. 


Slander, slander me, ye people, slander ! 

Slander is right pleasing to God's servant. 

Slander is my father, slander my mother ; 1 

If I am slandered and store in my heart 

The wealth of God's name, I shall go to heaven. 

If I am slandered my heart becometh pure, 

The slanderer washeth my clothes for me. 2 

He who slandereth me is my friend ; 

My heart goeth out to the slanderer ; 

He is the slanderer who preventeth my being slandered. 

The slanderer desireth long life for me ; 

I bear love and affection to him who slandereth me ; 

Slander effecteth my salvation. 

To God's servant, Kabir, slander is the best thing ; 

The slanderer is lost, I am saved. 

Kabir feels that he has parted with egoism and 
become absorbed in God. 


O sovereign God, Thou art very fearless ; Thou art a raft 
to save the world, O God. 

When I was proud, Thou wert not in me ; now that Thou 
art in me I am not proud. 

1 Is dear to me as my father and mother. 

2 That is, he takes my impurity on himself. 

N 2 


Now Thou and I have become one ; seeing that we are 
both one, my mind is satisfied. 

When there is worldly wisdom, how can there be spiritual 
strength ? 

Now I have spiritual wisdom, but no bodily strength. 
Saith Kabir, God hath taken away my worldly wisdom, and 
instead of it I have obtained perfection. 

The human body under the allegory of a house. 


The Creator made the six mystical chambers 1 into a house, 
and in it He put a peerless thing ; 2 

Without delay He made divine knowledge its key, spiritual 
ignorance its lock, and life its watchman. 

Now, my brother, let thy mind remain awake ; 

Through carelessness thou hast lost thy human life ; thy 
house is being robbed by thieves. 3 

Thy five senses stand as sentinels at the gate, but they 
cannot be trusted. 

Carefully think of God, and thou shalt obtain the light of 
divine knowledge. 

If woman go astray through only heeding the body of 
nine apertures, she shall not obtain the peerless thing — 
God's name. 

Saith Kabir, thieves may plunder the body of nine aper- 
tures ; God's spirit dwelleth in the tenth. 

Kabir obtained perfection and complete faith on 
meeting the guru. 


0 mother, I know none beside God ; 

My soul dwelleth in that God whose praises Shiv and the 
sons of Brahma sing. 

1 The six mystical chambers of the body are — Muladhara, the 
parts about the pubis ; Swadkshlhanam, or umbilical region ; Mani- 
puram, or pit of the stomach or epigastrium ; Anahalam, the root of 
the nose ; Visuddkam, the hollow between the frontal sinuses ; and 
Ajnyakhyam, the fontenelle or union of the coronal and sagittal 
sutures. 2 The soul. 3 Thy evil passions. 



On meeting the guru enlightenment and divine knowledge 
entered my heart, and I meditated on God in my brain ; 

The disease of the deadly sins, fear, and worldly entangle- 
ments fled away, and my soul knew happiness in itself. 

Imbued with devotion I know and obey the one God, and 
think of none beside. 

Having abandoned the pride of my heart, my soul is 
perfumed with the perfume of sandal. 

God dwelleth in him who hath sung and meditated on 
His praises. 

Very fortunate are they in whose heart He dwelleth, and 
distinguished is the destiny recorded on their foreheads. 

I have destroyed Maya, 1 divine knowledge is kindled in 
my heart, and I have become absorbed in the one God. 

Saith Kabir, on meeting the guru I have felt great 
comfort ; my mind hath ceased to wander and is happy. 

Kabir's Acrostic 

Everything connected with the three worlds is contained 
in the fifty-two letters ; 

These letters shall perish, but He who is beyond letters is 
not in them. 


Where there is speech, there letters are used ; 
Where there is no speech there no mind abideth. 
God is contained both where there is speech and where 
there is not ; 

Nobody appeareth like unto Him. 2 


If I obtain God, what shall I say ? and if I say anything 
what kindness do I show God, 

1 Shakti Shiv. Literally — the energy of Shiv ; but Shiv may 
also be a separate word, meaning bliss or happiness, and the next 
clause of the verse would then be translated— happiness was being 
kindled in my heart, and God naturally appeared lo me. 

2 Also translated — No one knows Him as He is. 


Who is diffused through the three worlds as well as in the 
tiny seed of the banyan-tree ? 1 


For him who hath obtained God, and knoweth to some 
extent God's secret, the difference between God and himself 
hath disappeared. 

God's secret penetrated my heart when it turned away 
from the world; and I have obtained Himwho is Indestructible 
and Impenetrable. 


The Musalmans accept the Tariqat ; the Hindus the Veds 
and Purans ; but for me the books of both religions are useless. 

A man ought to study divine knowledge to some extent 
to instruct his heart. 


I know the one God who was in the beginning ; 
I do not believe in what can be written and erased. 
Whoever beholdeth the one God, 
Becometh as God, and shall not pass away. 


K. When the rays of divine knowledge fall on the lotus of 
the heart, 

It closeth not even at the rising of the moon ; 2 
And if man obtain the sweetness of that flower, 
He would grow mute in describing it, yea, to whom 
could he explain it ? 


KH. My mind hath entered God's cave ; 3 

It leaveth it not to wander in every direction. 
He who, knowing the Master, practiseth resignation, 
Shall become imperishable, and obtain the imperishable 

1 Also translated — He whose expansion the three worlds are, is 
contained in the tiny seed of the banyan-tree. 

2 Once a man has obtained divine knowledge he is not again 
subject to spiritual ignorance. 

3 Has become attached to God. 




G. They who understand the guru's instruction, 
Lend their ears to nothing else. 

He who graspeth the Ungraspable, 1 and having grasped 
Him keepeth Him in his brain, 
Shall abide wealthless as a bird, and wander nowhere. 


GH. God's dwelling is in every heart ; 

Even though the heart break, God is never thereby 

When man findeth a way to God in his heart, 
Why should he leave that way and follow a difficult 

one ? 


NG. Grasp the love of God, dismiss doubts. 

Even though thou see no way to God, flee not away ; 
this is the highest cleverness. 


CH. God painted the great picture of the world ; 
Dismiss the picture, and think of the Painter. 
This painted picture is an abode of strife ; 
Dismiss the picture, and keep thy mind on the Painter. 


CHH. God the Lord of the umbrella is near ; 

Why dost thou not abandon desires and be happy ? 
O man, I admonish thee every moment ; 
Why dost thou leave God and entangle thyself with the 
world ? 

J. If a man burn his body alive, 

And efface his youth, he shall find the right way. 
When man burneth the wealth of this and the next 
world, 2 

He shall then proceed and obtain God's bright light. 

1 God. 

2 When man only thinks of God, and not of rewards in this or the 
next world. 



JH. Thou art entangled with the world, and knowest not 
how to disentangle thyself ; 

Thou shrinkest back, and art not accepted of God. 

Why talk nonsense trying to convince others ? 

Since thou stirrest up controversy, controversy thou 
shalt have. 


NY. Since God dwelleth near thee in thy heart, why leave 
Him and go far to find Him ? 1 

Him for whom thou searchest the world, thou shalt find 
near thee. 


T. The difficult way to God is in man's heart. 

Why open not the doors of thine understanding, and 
repair to His court ? 

There shalt thou behold the Immovable One, and thou 
shalt not move elsewhere. 

Thou shalt remain attached to God, and thy heart shall 
be glad. 


TH. Keep the world, which is a deceitful mirage, at a 
distance — 

I have with difficulty rendered my mind patient — 
The cheat which cheated and devoured the whole world 
I have myself cheated, and my mind is now at ease. 


D. When the fear of God is produced, all other fears depart ; 
All other fears are absorbed in that fear. 
If man reject the fear of God, then he hath fear of man ; 
When he no longer feareth man, the fears of his heart 
flee away. 


DH. Search for God near thee ; why search elsewhere ? 
While searching for Him elsewhere life departeth. 
When I ascended the mountain to search for Him, and 
returned home disappointed, 

1 Why lead the life of an anchoret in the forest. 



I found Him in the fortress 1 which He Himself had 


N. The life of him is accounted happy 

Who, though surrounded in the battle-field, standeth 
fast like a man, 2 

Who doth not quail or retreat, 3 

But killeth the opposing chief, upon which his army 
fleeth away. 4 


T. The world is unfordable ; it cannot be forded. 

My soul is absorbed in the Lord of the three worlds. 
If the Lord of the three worlds enter into my heart, 
My soul shall blend with Him, and I shall find the True 


TH. The Unfathomable cannot be fathomed. 

God is unfathomable ; this body shall not abide for ever. 
Though man's span of life be brief, he beginneth to build 
many a mansion 5 — 
But can mansions be supported without pillars ? 


D. Everything we see is perishable ; 
Meditate on Him who is Unseen. 
When thou appliest the key of divine knowledge to the 
tenth gate, 
Thou shalt then behold the merciful One. 


DH. Everything is settled when the soul blendeth with 

Who dwelleth in earth and heaven. 

When the soul leaving earth goeth to heaven, 

The soul and God shall meet and happiness be obtained. 

1 My body. 

2 Happy are they who are victorious over their evil passions. 

3 The gyanis generally translate capitulate. 

4 When the heart is subdued, the evil passions flee away. 

5 Man's ambition is too great for the brief span of his life. 



N. Man's nights and days pass away waiting for God ; 
His eyes grow blood-shot by such waiting. 
When man findeth God after long waiting, 
He who waiteth is blended with Him who is waited for. 


P. The Boundless One hath no bounds ; 

I am gladdened with the Supreme Light ; 

I have controlled the five senses, 

And relinquished all idea of demerits and merits. 


PH. Fruit is produced without the blossom ; 1 
If any one looked at a section 2 of that fruit, 
And reflected on it, he would not contract duality. 
That section of fruit shall destroy all bodies. 3 


B. Blend drop with drop, 4 

When drop is blended with drop.both cannot beseparated. 
Let man, becoming God's servant, embrace His service, 
And He becoming a friend will take care of His ser- 


BH. Remove the difference between thyself and God, and 
thou shalt be united with Him ; 

Then shall thy fear be shattered, and thou shalt gain 

Him whom I thought without me I now find within me : 
When I found this secret, I recognized the Lord of the 

1 If God pleases, divine knowledge may be obtained without effort. 

2 Phank, a natural division of fruit as seen, for instance, in the 

3 Shall remove all transmigration. It is believed that bodies are 
made for the soul, but, when the soul is absorbed in God, bodies will 
of course not be necessary for it. 

4 Blend thy soul with God. 




M. He who graspeth the First Principle, 1 shall be happy at 
heart ; 

He who is in this secret knoweth his own mind. 
Let no one delay to attach his heart to God ; 
He who obtaineth the True One shall be immersed in 


M. Man's business is with his heart ; he who chasteneth it 
obtaineth perfection. 

Kabir communeth with his heart, ' I have found nothing 
like thee, O my heart ! ' 


This heart is power ; this mind is God ; 2 
This heart is the life of the five elements of the body. 
If man restrain his heart and remain in a state of ex- 
altation, 3 

He can tell the secrets of the three worlds. 


Y. If thou know anything, destroy thine evil propensities 
and conquer the citadel of the body ; 

Thou who art surrounded by foes in battle and fleest not 
away, shalt be called a hero. 


R. He knoweth the real pleasure, who spurneth the pleasures 
of this world ; 

Having spurned the pleasures of the world he recog- 
nizeth the Real Pleasure ; 

When he abandoneth the former, he obtaineth the latter ; 

And when he quaffeth the latter, the former please him 

1 God. 

2 Even Shiv and his consort are not superior to the human intellect 
which decides on the worship of one God. 

3 Unman. The gyanis generally translate this word — to turn away 
from the world and direct one's thoughts to God. 



L. 0 man, so apply thy heart to God, 

That thou mayest not go elsewhere, but obtain the 
primal True One. 

If thou heartily love Him, 

Thou shalt obtain Him, and, obtaining Him, become 
absorbed in His feet. 


W. Every moment remember God ; 

Remember God and defeat shall not come to thee. 
I am a sacrifice to those who sing the praises of the sons 
of God 1 ; 

He who meeteth God shall obtain all truth. 


W. Know God ; by knowing Him thou shalt become as He. 
When the soul and God are blended, no one can dis- 
tinguish them. 


S. Carefully strive to know Him ; 

Restrain every thought which allureth the heart. 
When love for God springeth up, there is mental happi- 

And the Lord of the three worlds will fill thy heart. 


KH. He who searcheth, 

He who searcheth for God shall not return. 

He who searcheth and knoweth God by meditation, 

Shall cross over the terrible ocean without delay. 


SH. She who dispelleth all doubts of her spouse's affection 
for her, 

Shall adorn his bed. 

She resigneth a little comfort and obtaineth the highest 
Then is she justly styled a wife and he a husband. 

1 Bishantana, an equivalent of the Persian ahl-i-khuda — sons of 
God, saints. 




H. God existeth, but the spiritually ignorant know not of 
His existence. 

From the moment man knoweth that God, existeth his 
heart is satisfied. 

God certainly doth exist, if any one could see Him ; 

But in that case God alone would exist, and man exist 
not at all. 


Everybody goeth about saying, ' I will take this, and 
I will take that.' 

They therefore feel great sorrow when they are dis- 

He who fixeth his attention on God, 

Shall obtain all happiness and his sorrows shall depart. 


KSH. How many have pined away and perished ! 

But, despite such destruction, man will not even now 
think of God. 

If any one even now know that the world is fleeting and 
restrain his heart, 

He shall obtain an abiding place with Him from whom 
he is separated. 


The Pandits have in another way joined the fifty-two 

But they cannot recognize one letter. 1 

Kabir uttereth the word of the True One — 

He is a pandit who abideth without fear — 

To join letters 2 is the business of the Pandits ; 

To meditate on God is the business of the holy man. 

Saith Kabir, man will understand which to do 

According to his intelligence. 

1 They cannot recognize the Imperishable One (Akshar), a play on 
the Sanskrit word. 

2 To write essays and theological disquisitions. 


Kabir's calendar is arranged according to lunar 
days. The lunar month has thirty days. Fifteen 
of them are called shudi, the light half, and the other 
fifteen wadi, the dark half of the month. In this 
composition, however, sixteen days are counted. 

Kabir's Lunar Days 

There are fifteen lunar days and seven week days. 
Saith Kabir, they have no limits. 1 
The Strivers and Sidhs who know their secrets, 
Are creators and gods themselves. 


On the day when there is no moon remove worldly desires ; 
Remember God the Searcher of hearts, 
So shalt thou even in life obtain the gate of salvation, 
And the real word of the Fearless One, which is the essence 
of everything. 
He who loveth God's lotus feet, 

And is night and day watchful in His praises, becometh 
pure in heart by the favour of the saints. 


On the first day of the moon meditate on the Beloved ; 
He who cannot be lessened, and who hath no equal, 
sporteth in the heart. 
He who is absorbed in the primal God, 
Shall never suffer the pain of death. 


On the second day know that there are two parts of the 

Maya and God, 2 who are contained in everything. 

God doth not increase or diminish ; 

He is unknowable, spotless, and changeless. 

1 Literally — they have no hither and thither sides; a metaphor 
from the banks of a river. The meaning is that time has no limits. 

2 Matter and spirit. 




On the third day let man apply his mind to God in the 
three states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping} 

Thus shall he obtain the Root of Joy and the Supreme 

In the company of the saints ariseth the faith in man 
That God's light is ever within and without him. 


On the fourth day restrain thy fickle mind ; 
Never associate with lust and anger. 
God is all in all in sea and land ; 
He repeateth His own praises. 2 


On the fifth day know that the world was extended from 
the five elements, 

And that the pursuit of gold and women form its occupa- 

Whoever quaffeth the nectar of God's love, 

Shall not again feel the pains of old age and death. 


On the sixth day the mind and the senses run in six 
directions ; 

The mind will not be restrained without the love of God. 

Efface duality and hold fast endurance ; 

Endure not the torture of absurd religious ceremonies. 


On the seventh day know that the Word is true, 
And the Supreme Spirit will hold thee accepted ; 
So shall thy doubts and troubles be effaced, 
And thou shalt obtain happiness in the celestial sea. 

1 Also translated — Let man bring together the ira, pingla, and 

2 Contained as He is in man. 



On the eighth day know that the body is made of eight 

In it is the Unknowable, the King of great treasures. 
The guru who is versed in divine knowledge discloseth 
the secret 

How man may turn away from the world, and remain 
absorbed in the Infrangible and the Indivisible. 1 


On the ninth day keep watch over the nine gates, 
And restrain thy flowing desires ; 
Forget all covetousness and worldly love, 
And thou shalt eat the immortal fruit and live through all 


On the tenth day joy prevaileth in the ten directions ; 2 
Doubts are dispelled and God is found. 
God is light, the essence of all things, incomparable, 
Pure without a stain ; where He dwelleth is neither shade 
nor sunshine. 


On the eleventh day, if man run in one direction, 3 

He shall not again suffer the pain of birth ; 

His heart shall become cool and pure, 

And God, whom men say is distant, he shall find near. 


On the twelfth day let twelve suns 4 arise for thee, 
And day and night trumpets shall play spontaneous 

1 Also translated — 

When a man meeteth a guru the latter discloseth to him the secret 
of divine knowledge, 

And man turneth away from the world and remaineth absorbed in 
the Infrangible and Indivisible. 

2 A Hindi idiom for everywhere. 3 Towards God. 

4 The Hindus believe that every month has a sun of its own. On 
the last day the twelve suns shall shine together and burn the world. 
The twelve suns of the text mean the bright lights of divine knowledge. 



Thou shalt behold the Father of the three worlds ; 
A miracle shall be wrought for thee, and from man thou 
shalt become God. 


On the thirteenth day they who repeat the name of the 
Inaccessible escape transmigration ; 

Know that God is equally diffused below and above. 

God is neither low nor high, in Him is neither honour nor 
dishonour ; 

He is equally contained in all things. 


On the fourteenth day remember that God filleth the 
fourteen worlds, 

And that He dwelleth in every hair of man's body. 

Meditate on truth and patience, 

And recite the legend of divine knowledge. 


On the day of the full moon the moon is full in the heavens 
And there is gentle light diffused from its beams. 1 
God is firmly fixed in the beginning, the middle, and the 
end of all things. 
Kabir is absorbed in the ocean of happiness. 

Kabir's Week Days 

Sing God's praises all the days of the week : 

On meeting the guru thou shalt obtain God's secret. 


On Sunday begin God's service, 
Restrain the desires in the temple of thy body. 
Let man day and night keep his attention on the Infrangible 

And the lute shall tranquilly play spontaneous music. 

1 Also translated— divisions. The Hindus divide the moon into 
sixteen sections. During the full moon the whole sixteen sections are 
seen. Solah kala sampuran — It is complete in its sixteen divisions. 
The same expression is applied to men of eminent virtue and 




On Monday nectar trickleth from the moon ; 1 
When tasted, it is a speedy antidote to all poison ; 
He who drinketh it shall become intoxicated. 
Let thy mouth remain closed to idle converse. 2 


On Tuesday learn what thou really art ; 
Know how to guard against thine evil passions. 3 
Leave not the God who is in thine own home 4 to wander 
abroad ; 

If thou do, He will be exceeding wroth. 


On Wednesday let man enlighten his understanding, 
So that God's dwelling may be in the lotus of his heart. 
Let him, on meeting his guru, consider both his soul and 
God as the same, 
And set erect the inverted lotus of his heart. 6 


On Thursday let him throw his evil passions into the 

And consider the three gods of the Hindus the same. 6 
Why doth he not day and night wash away his sins 
At the junction where the three rivers 7 meet ? 


On Friday by the practice of endurance man shall attain 
his object. 

1 That is, from the guru. 

2 Literally — let the door of thy speech be locked up. 

3 Literally — know the way of the five thieves, that is, the way by 
which they approach. 4 Heart. 

5 Inverted owing to its devotion to the world. 

6 Being, as the great God's creatures, equally impotent for good or 

7 The ira, pingla, and sukhmana, i. e. by the practice of Jog. 



By struggling with himself daily, 

And carefully restraining all his five senses, 

He shall never fall into duality. 


On Saturday if man keep strong within him 
The wick of God's light which shineth in his heart, 
He shall be illumined without and within, 
And all his sins shall be erased. 


Know that as long as man hath duality in his heart, 

He shall not attain God's court. 

Let him love the omnipresent God, 

And then, saith Kabir, his heart shall be pure. 


The first three lines of the following were addressed 
by Kabir to his guru Ramanand. The remainder 
of the hymn contains Ramanand's replies and 


Touching my guru's feet I bow and ask him why the 
soul was made, 

Why man was born and why he shall perish — tell and 
explain to me. 

O divine one, show mercy to me and put me in the way 
of escaping from worldly entanglements and the fear of 

The pain of transmigration resulteth from deeds done, 
and happiness cometh when the soul is released from it. 

Man bursteth not the entanglements of worldly love, and 
therefore is not absorbed in God. 

He knoweth nothing of the rank of nirvan, and so his 
fears are not dispelled. 1 

1 Also translated — He is not without fear and hath erred. 
O 2 


The soul is not born, though men think it is ; it is free 
from birth and death. 1 

When the idea of birth and death 2 departeth from man's 
mind, he shall for ever be absorbed in God. 

As the reflection of an object in a vessel of water blendeth 
with the object when the vessel is broken, 

So, saith Kabir, through virtue doubts flee away, and the 
soul is absorbed in God. 3 

The following is a satire on the Brahmans of 
Banaras : — 


They wear loin-cloths three and a half yards long and 
sacrificial threads of three strands ; 

They carry rosaries on their necks and glittering brass 
utensils in their hands ; 

They should not be called saints of God, but cheats of 
Banaras — 

Such saints are not pleasing to me — 

They gulp down trees with their branches ; 

They scrub their vessels, and put them on fires whose 
wood hath been washed ; 4 

They dig up the earth, make two fire-places, 5 and eat 
up men whole ! 

Those sinners ever wander in evil deeds, yet they call 
themselves Aparas. 

Ever and ever they wander about in their pride and ruin 
all their families. 

Man is attached to what God hath attached him, and 
his acts correspond. 

1 This line is also translated — The guru's words make no impres- 
sion on him, he ihinketh his own ideas best, he hath no love for God 
and no hate for Maya. 

2 Literally — the rising and the setting of the sun. This phrase is 
also translated — when the feeling of joy and sorrow is dispelled. 

3 Kabir means that the soul is the reflection of God, and blends with 
Him when the vessel of the body is broken. 

4 So that impurities in the wood may. not remain. 

5 One for their bread and another for their lentils. Some strict 
Hindus suppose that a fireplace once used is unclean. 



Saith Kabir, he who meeteth the true guru shall not be 
born again. 

Thanksgiving to God the father. 


The Father gave me this consolation — 

He made me a comfortable bed and put ambrosia into 
my mouth. 

Why should I forget that Father ? 

When I go to the next world I shall not lose my game. 1 

My mother 2 is dead, and I am quite happy. 

I do not put on a beggar's coat ; I feel not the frost. 

I am a sacrifice to that Father who begot me, 

Who put an end to my companionship with the five 
deadly sins, 

Who enabled me to subdue, and trample on them. 

When I remember God, my soul and body are happy. 

My Father is the great Lord of the earth. 

To that Father how shall I go ? 

When I met the true guru, he showed me the way — 

The Father of the world then became dear to my mind ; 

I am Thy son, Thou art my Father ; 

We both live in the same place. 

Saith Kabir, God's slave knoweth the one God ; 

By the guru's favour I know everything. 

The central idea of the following is the worship 
of Maya. She is represented in a hideous and 
repulsive guise, her nose having been cut off for 
her infidelity. The first two lines of the hymn 
describe Tantric ceremonies. 


Into one vessel they put a slaughtered cock, and another 
they fill with liquor. 
Five Jogis sit round, and the noseless queen in the midst. 
The bell of the noseless one resoundeth in both worlds ; 
But some discriminating person cut off thy nose, 0 Maya. 

1 If 1 remember God. 2 Maya, or worldly love. 


The noseless one hath her dwelling everywhere ; she 
killeth every one and looketh out for more. 

' I am,' saith she, ' the sister and niece of all ; 1 I am the 
handmaiden of him who weddeth me. 2 

My husband is very wise and calleth himself a saint. 3 

He standeth continually over me ; no one else cometh 
near me.' 

It was I, saith Kabir, who cut off her nose and her ears, 
and assaulted and expelled her, 

Because, though dear to the three worlds, she was an 
enemy of the saints. 

All must die at last ; God's name is their only 


Jogis, celibates, penitents, anchorets, they who wander 
on many pilgrimages, 

They who pluck out and shave their hair, they who practise 
silence, and they who wear matted locks, must all die at 
last ; 

Wherefore worship God. 

What can the Jamna do for those whose tongues love 
God's name ? 4 

They who know the Shastars, the Veds, astrology, and 
various languages, 

Who know written and spoken incantations, and all 
medical science, must die at last. 

They who enjoy empires, umbrellas, thrones, many beauti- 
ful women, 

Betel, camphor, and highly fragrant sandal, must die at 

The Veds, Purans, and Simritis I have all searched, but 
there is no salvation anywhere in them. 

Saith Kabir, so repeat God's name that transmigration 
may be at an end. 

1 Every one treats me well and cherishes me. 

2 I serve him who controls me. 

3 It is only the saint who can control her. 

4 The river Jamna is a place of pilgrimage. Ii is supposed that 
death cannot molest those who bathe in it. 



Kabir was asked whether the world was real or 
unreal. The following hymn was his reply. His 
meaning is that the world is unreal like the im- 
possibilities mentioned. 


Can an elephant be a rebeck-player, or an ox a drummer ? 
can a raven play the cymbals ? 

Can an ass put on a dancer's skirt and dance ? Can 
a buffalo perform worship ? 

Can Raja Ram 1 cook cakes of ice ? 

Can any man in his senses eat them ? 

Can a lion seated in his den prepare betel ? Can a mam- 
moth rat serve it when made up ? 

Can a mouse sing a song of rejoicing from house to house ? 
Can a tortoise blow a shell ? 

Can a barren woman's son go to wed, and build a mansion 
in the sky ? 

Can he marry a fair and beautiful virgin ? Can the hare 
and the lion sing their eulogies ? 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 saints, hath an ant eaten a moun- 
tain ? 

Can the tortoise say, ' I want fire ' ? Can the gnat pro- 
claim God's word ? 2 

The following was addressed to a Jogi who main- 
tained the superiority of his sect and the advantages 
of its external accessories. 


I have one wallet which containeth seventy-two chambers 
and one door. 3 

In the whole world he alone is a Jogi 

Who craveth for God in the earth containing nine regions. 4 

That Jogi shall obtain the nine treasures 

1 An eminent confectioner of Kablr's time. 

2 Some begin with ' The son of a barren woman went to wed ' and 
make the animals mentioned the marriage procession, putting the 
whole in narrative form. 

3 The seventy-two chambers of the body and the brain or tenth gate. 

4 In the body containing nine gates. 


Who lifteth his soul from below to heaven, 
Who maketh divine knowledge his patched coat, medita- 
tion his needle, 

Who twisteth the thread of the Word and putteth it 

Who maketh the five elements his deer-skin jacket, and 
walketh in the way of his guru, 

Who maketh mercy his fire-shovel, his body his fire-wood, 
and applieth to it the light of knowledge, 1 

Who loveth God within his heart, and ever sitteth in the 
attitude of contemplation. 

All the Jogi's craft consisteth in the name of God, to 
whom belong the body and soul. 

Saith Kabir, if God be merciful, He will give man a true 
mark. 2 

Trust to God alone and not to thy relations. 


As long as the oil and the wick 3 are in the lamp, every- 
thing is visible ; 

When the oil is spent, and the wick goeth out, the chamber 
is dark. 

0 madman, when thy lamp is out, no one will keep thee 
even for a ghari, 

Therefore repeat the name of God. 
Who hath a mother ? who hath a father ? what man 
hath a wife ? 

When the vessel bursteth, 4 no one asketh about thee ; 
it is all ' Take him out ! Take him out ! ' 

Thy mother sitteth and weepeth on the threshold, thy 
brother taketh away thy bier. 

Thy wife openeth the plaits of her hair and weepeth ; 
the soul departeth alone. 

Saith Kabir, hear, ye saints, regarding this terrible ocean. 

The slave man suffereth torture, and the lord of death 
retireth not from him, O God. 

1 The power of knowing the reality of things seen. 

2 Mark him off for salvation. 

3 The oil and wick mean life and breath. 4 When thou diest. 



The body under the allegory of a churn from 
which salvation is obtained through the Word. 


Sanak and Sanand, sons of Brahma, never found God's 

Nor did Brahma himself though he spent his life reading 
the Veds. 

Churn God's churn, 1 my brethren. 

Gently churn it that the butter may not be lost. 2 

Make thy body the churn, thy heart the churning-staff ; 

Into the churn put the Word instead of milk ; 

Make hearty meditation on God thy churning. 

Pour the guru's favour into it as thy cold water. 

Saith Kabir, he on whom the King looketh with favour, 

And who clingeth to His name, shall gain the shore. 

When the deadly sins are subdued man arrives 
at a knowledge of the one God and obtains salvation. 


When the wick of pride is dry and the oil of worldly love 
is spent ; 

When the drum of boasting is not heard, and the mind 3 
is fast asleep, 

When the fire of avarice is out, and the smoke of desires 
no longer issueth, 

Then shall man know that one God is everywhere con- 
tained, and that there is no second. 

When the strings are broken, the rebeck no longer 
playeth, 4 — 

Man hath ruined his affairs by error — 

When man obtaineth understanding he shall forget 

Preaching, ranting, arguing, and intoning. 

Saith Kabir, the highest dignity shall not be far from those 

Who crush their deadly sins. 

1 Meditate upon divine knowledge. 

2 Rapid churning is believed to spoil butter. 

3 Nal, literally — the acrobat. 

4 When desires are at an end, man obtains deliverance. 


If Kabir commits sin he hopes that God will 
pardon him as a mother pardons her child, when he 
prays for forgiveness. 


A mother beareth not in mind 
All the faults her son committeth. 
0 God, I am Thy child ; 
Why destroyest Thou not my demerits ? 1 
If a son in great anger rush at his mother, 
Even then she beareth it not in mind. 
Since I have fallen into the prison of anxiety, 
How shall I be saved without God's name ? 

0 God, ever cleanse my mind and body, 
And Kabir will tranquilly sing Thy praises. 


My pilgrimage is to the bank of the Gomti, 

Where dwelleth the yellow-robed priest. 3 • 

Bravo ! bravo ! how sweetly he singeth 

God's name delighteth my soul ; 

Narad and Saraswati wait on him, 

And near him sits lady Lakshmi as his handmaiden. 

With my rosary on my neck and God on my tongue 

1 repeat His thousand names and salute Him. 
Saith Kabir, I sing God's praises, 

And instruct both Hindus and Musalmans. 

Kabir deprecated the destruction of life in any 
form for idol worship. 


Thou cuttest leaves, O flower-girl ; in every leaf there 
is life. 

The stone for which thou gatherest the leaves is lifeless. 
Thou art in error, O flower-girl, in this ; 
The true Guru is a living God. 

1 Why dost Thou not pardon my sins ? 

2 This apparently is not the river which flows by Lakhnau (Luck- 
now). 3 Krishan. 



Brahma is in the leaves, Vishnu in the branches, and 
Shiv in the flowers. 

Thou destroyest three gods in our presence ; whom dost 
thou worship ? 

The sculptor carving the stone turned it into an idol ; 
and, in doing so, put his foot upon its breast. 

If it were a real God, it would have destroyed him. 

Men cook rice, dal, lapasi, pancakes, kasar ; 1 

The Brahman feasters feast on these things, and put 
ashes into the idol's mouth. 

The flower-girl is in error, and leadeth the world astray, 
but I go not astray. 

Saith Kabir, God hath mercifully preserved me from error. 

The stages of man. 


Twelve years pass away in childhood ; man performeth 
no penance even to the age of twenty ; 

Until thirty he worshippeth not God ; he repenteth when 
old age cometh upon him. 

His life hath passed in talking about his property ; 

His arms strong as the sea have dried up. 

He with his own hands constructeth a fence for a tank 
that hath dried up and a hedge for a reaped field. 

When the thief cometh, he quickly taketh what the fool 
hath preserved as his own. 

When the feet, head, and hands begin to totter, 

And water floweth copiously from the eyes ; 

When words come indistinctly from the tongue, 

Dost thou then, sir, hope to perform religious works ? 

If God be merciful and thou love Him, thou shalt obtain 
His name as thy profit. 

By the favour of the guru thou shalt obtain the wealth 
of God, 2 

Which shall go with thee as thou depart est. 
Saith Kabir, hear, O ye good people, ye shall not take 
other wealth with you ; 

1 Lapasi and kasar are both made from clarified butter, flour, and 
sugar, but the former is made liquid by the addition of water. They 
are both Oriental puddings. 2 God's name. 


When the Supreme God's summons cometh, ye shall 
depart leaving your wealth and homes. 

The inequality of life due to man's own acts and 
not to God's caprice. 


To one man God hath given silks and satins and a niwar 
bed, 1 

Others have not even a ragged coat or straw in their 
houses to lie on. 

Indulge not in envy and bickering, 0 my soul, 

Do good deeds and gain their reward. 

Out of the same earth the potter mouldeth vessels, but 
painteth different designs on them ; 

Into one vessel is put strings of pearls, and into another filth. 

God gave the miser wealth to keep, but the blockhead 
calleth it his own. 

When Death's mace toucheth his head, it shall be decided 
in a moment whose wealth it is. 

God's slave is the highest saint ; he obeyeth God's order 
and obtaineth happiness. 

He accepteth as true what pleaseth God, and God's will 
he treasureth in his heart. 

Saith Kabir, hear, O good people, to call things one's own 
is untrue ; 

Death, breaking the cage, taketh away the bird ; 2 its 
wires and strings 3 are then relaxed. 

The following is a remonstrance to a Qazi who 
desired that Kabir should perform the usual Muham- 
madan fasts and ceremonies : — 


I am God's poor slave, royal state is pleasing to thee ; 
The Supreme God, the Lord of religions, never ordained 

1 A niwar bed is one whose bottom is of broad cotton tape instead 
of the grass rope used by the poorer classes. 

2 That is, the soul. 

3 Also translated — The cups for the bird's food and water, that is, 
man leaves his possessions including his food and drink behind him. 



O Qazi, nothing is done by mere talk ; 

It is not by fasting and repeating prayers and the creed 
that one goeth to heaven. 

The inner veil of the temple of Makka is in man's heart, 
if the truth be known. 

Just decisions should be thy prayers, knowledge of God, 
the inscrutable One, thy creed, 

The subjugation of thine evil passions the spreading of the 
prayer-carpet ; then shouldst thou know what religion is. 

Recognize thy Master and fear Him in thy heart ; despise 
and destroy thy mental pride. 1 

As thou deemest thyself so deem others, then shalt thou 
become a partner in heaven. 

Matter is one but hath assumed divers shapes ; in the 
midst of all recognize God. 

Saith Kabir, thou hast abandoned heaven and attached 
thyself to hell. 

The following was composed on the occasion of 
Kabir's visit to the house of a Jogi friend whom he 
found dead : — 


Not a drop now trickleth from the citadel of thy brain — 
where is the music that filled it ? 

The great saint hath departed with the name of the supreme 
Brahm, the supreme God. 

O father, whither hath departed the soul which dwelt 
with thy body, 

Which revelled in divine knowledge, expounded, and 
preached ? 

Whither hath the player gone who played the drum of 
thy body ? 2 

Thy tales, thy words, thy divine instruction, are no longer 
heard ; all thy vital energy hath been drawn away. 

Thine ears have become deaf, the vigour of thine organs 
hath declined ; 

Thy feet have failed, thy hands are relaxed, no word 
issueth from thy lips ; 

1 Also translated — Despise thy lust and pride. 

2 Where is now the life of thy body ? 


The five enemies, 1 robbers all, which wander according 
to their own will have grown weary ; 

The elephant, 2 thy mind, hath grown weary ; the heart 
which beat by the force of thy soul, the wire-puller, hath 
grown weary ; 

Thou art dead ; the ten breaths which kept thee together 
have escaped ; thou hast left thy friends and relations. 

Saith Kabir, he who meditateth on God bursteth his 
bonds even while alive. 

Mammon under the guise of a serpent. 


Nothing is potent against the serpent 

Which deceived Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv. 

The serpent having completely subdued the world hath 
entered pure water. 3 

By the guru's favour I have seen her coming who hath 
stung the three worlds, and guarded myself against her. 

0 my brethren, why call out ' Serpent, serpent ' ? 

He who knoweth the True One hath destroyed the ser- 
pent ; 

No one else is free from her attack.* 
When the serpent is vanquished what can Death do to 
man ? 

This serpent is God's creature ; 
She is weak, what can she do ? 

As long, however, as she abideth with man, his soul shall 
abide in bodies ; 5 

By the favour of the guru Kabir hath easily escaped 
from her. 

'Throw not pearls before swine.' 


What availeth it to read the Simritis to a dog ? 
What to sing God's praises to an infidel ? 

1 The five evil passions. 

2 The mind is likened to an elephant for it heedlessly pursues 
pleasures as the male elephant the female. 

3 Has found access even to the holy. 

4 Also translated— There is no other creature so vile as she. 
6 He shall suffer transmigration. 



Continue to repeat God's name ; 
Speak not to the infidel even by mistake. 
What availeth it to give a raven valuable camphor to 
eat ? 1 

What to give milk to a viper ? 2 

Discrimination and understanding are obtained in the 
company of the saints. 

By the touch of the philosopher's stone iron becometh 

The dog of an infidel acteth in everything as he is caused 
to act ; 

His acts are in accordance with his original destiny. 
Wert thou to take nectar and water the nim-tree with it, 
Saith Kabir, its natural bitter qualities would not depart. 

Worldly greatness secures not salvation. 


There is no trace of Rawan or his line, 

Though Ceylon was his fortress and the ocean its moat. 

What shall I pray for ? nothing remaineth stable ; 

While I look on, the world passeth away. 

Though Rawan had a lakh of sons and a lakh and a 
quarter of grandsons, 

Yet at last he had neither lamp nor wick in his house. 

The sun and moon used to heat his kitchen, 3 the fire to 
wash his clothes. 4 

He who through the guru's instruction putteth God's 
name in his heart, 

Shall remain permanent and be released from trans- 
migration. 5 

Saith Kabir, hear, O ye people, 6 

Without the name of God there is no salvation. 

1 He will still rejoice in filth. 

2 It will only become the more venomous after nourishment. 

3 That is, to cook his food. 

4 So potent was he over the heavenly bodies and the elements, that 
he subjugated them to his private purposes. 

5 Literally — and go nowhere. 

6 Loi. This word means people, but it was also the name of 
Kablr's wife. 


A mystical hymn with its interpretation. 


Hear these wonderful things, my brethren — 
First a son 1 was born, and afterwards his mother ; 2 
The guru 3 worshipped his disciple's 4 feet ; 
I have seen a lion 5 herding kine ; s 
A fish 7 out of water give birth upon a tree ; 8 
I have seen a cat 9 taking away a dog ; 10 
The branches of a tree 11 below, its roots 12 above ; 
And its trunk bearing fruit 13 and blossom ; 14 
A buffalo 15 on horseback going to graze a horse ; 16 
An ox 17 on his way while his burden 18 arrived at home 
before him. 

Saith Kabir, he who understandeth this hymn, 
Shall know everything on repeating God's name. 

The soul's toil to obtain a human body shall all 
be lost if God be not remembered. 


God maketh the body from seed and placeth it in the pit 
of fire ; 

For ten months He keepeth it in the mother's womb ; 
worldly love attacheth to it on emerging. 

0 mortal, why attaching thyself to covetousness losest 
thou the jewel of thy life ? 

In former births thou didst not sow the seed in this 
world : 

From childhood thou hast grown to old age ; what was 
to be hath been. 

1 Purity. 2 Maya. 3 Soul. 
4 Heart or mind. 5 Conscience. 

6 The organs of action and perception. 7 Understanding. 

8 To the company of the saints. 9 Contentment. 

10 Greed. 11 Worldly desires. 

12 Meditation on God. 13 Salvation. 14 Worship. 

15 Endurance. 16 Fickleness. 17 Laziness. 

18 Good works. 



When Death cometh and catcheth thee by the top-lock, 1 
why then weep ? 

Thou hopest for longer life, while he waiteth for thy last 
breath — 

The world is a game, 0 Kabir, carefully throw the dice. 2 

Kabir was invited to a marriage feast. He said 
his own marriage was being celebrated, and he could 
not go elsewhere. The following is a description 
of it. 


I turned my body into a dyer's vat and then dyed my 
heart therein ; 3 the five virtues 4 I made my marriage 
guests ; 

With God I made my marriage circumambulations, 5 my 
soul being dyed with His love. 

Sing, sing, ye brideswomen, the marriage song : 

The sovereign God hath come to my house as my husband. 

I made the bridal pavilion 6 in the lotus of my heart, 
and divine knowledge the recitation 7 of my lineage ; 

I obtained God as my bridegroom ; so great hath been 
my good fortune. 

Demigods, men, saints, and the thirty-three karors of 
gods in their chariots came as spectators 

Saith Kabir, the one God, the divine Male, hath wed and 
taken me with Him. 

1 A lock of hair left unshaven on the top of a Hindu's head. 

2 Also translated — Make recollection of God thy throw of the dice. 

3 Kabir represents himself as a bride and God the bridegroom. It 
is usual on occasions of marriage for people to have their clothes dyed. 

4 The word panchon is also translated the elect. 

5 The Hindu bridegroom and bride circumambulate fire, in some 
places seven times and in other places four times, on the occasion 
of a marriage. 

6 Four posts are erected to denote the mind, understanding, 
thought, and pride. The posts support a cloth covering, beneath 
which the very youthful Indian brides and bridegrooms are married. 

7 Uchar now called gotrachar, a panegyric on the families of the 
bride and bridegroom intoned by the ministering Brahmans. The 
word is also translated — the repetition of the Vedic sloks. for 



In the following again Kabir represents himself 
as a wedded woman : — 


I am plagued by my mother-in-law, 1 beloved by my 
father-in-law ; 2 I dread the very name of my husband's 
eldest brother. 8 

0 my friends and companions, my husband's sister 4 hath 
seized me, and I burn by separation from my husband's 
youngest brother. 5 

My mind hath become insane since T have forgotten 
God ; how can I abide ? 

1 behold not with mine eyes Him who enjoyeth me on 
the couch ; to whom shall I tell my sorrow ? 

My step-father quarrelleth with me ; my mother is ever 
intoxicated ; 6 

As long as I remained with my elder brother 7 I was dear 
to my Spouse. 

Saith Kabir, I have lost my life struggling with the five 
evil passions — 

Deceitful Maya hath led captive the whole world, but 
I have obtained immunity by repeating God's name. 

Mammon a thieving courtesan. 

Worldly life is like a dream, 

But, believing the world to be real, 1 attached myself to 
it, and abandoned the Supreme Treasure. 

0 father, I made love to the courtesan mammon, 
And she stole from me the jewel of divine knowledge. 
With its eyes open the moth becometh entangled ; the 

insect regardeth not the flame ; 

1 Maya. 2 God. 3 The god of death. 
4 Evil thought. 6 Discrimination. 

6 Step-father here means the body, and the mother is selfishness. 
Bap sawaka is also translated— my former heart, that is, when I was 

7 God's love. Some understand contentment; others, divine 



So, stupid man attached to gold and women heedeth not 
Death's noose. 

Reflect, abandon sin ; and God will save thee. 

Saith Kabir, such is the Life of the world ; He hath no 

Kabir has found God and put an end to his trans- 


Though I have assumed many shapes, this is my last. 1 
The strings and wires of the musical instrument are all 

worn out ; I am now in the power of God's name ; 
I shall not have again to dance to the tune of birth and 

death ; 

Nor shall my heart accompany on the drum. 2 

I have taken and destroyed my bodily lust and anger ; 

the pitcher of avarice hath burst ; 
Lust's raiment hath grown old, and all my doubts are 


I recognize one God in all creatures ; vain wranglings on 
this subject are at an end. 

Saith Kabir, when God was gracious unto me, I obtained 
Him, the Perfect One. 

The following was addressed to a Qazi :— 


Thou fastest to appease God, yet thou destroyest life to 
please thy palate. 3 

Thou regardest not others as thou dost thyself ; why 
pratest thou ? 

0 Qazi, thy one God is in thee, but thou beholdest Him 
not by thought and reflection. 

Mad on religion, thou heedest not, wherefore thy life is 
of no account. 

1 I have had many births, but I shall not be born again. 

2 At a nach, or Oriental dance, the performers are the musicians, 
the female singers and dancers, and the drummers. 

3 On the first day after the lent of Ramzan, the Muhammadans 
offer a sacrifice to God. Here Kabir hints that the sacrifice is made 
to please their palates, not to please God. 

P 2 


Thy books tell thee that God is true, and that He is 
neither male nor female ; 

Thou gainest nothing by thy reading and study, 0 mad- 
man, since thou regardest Him not at heart : 

God is concealed in every heart ; reflect on this in thy 

Kabir loudly proclaimeth — there is the same God ior the 
Hindu as for the Muhammadan. 

God becomes not propitious by the mere wearing 
of religious garbs. 


I decorated myself to meet my Spouse, 

But God the Life and Lord of the world met me not. 

God is my husband, I am his wife ; 

He is big ; I am little. 

The wife and her husband dwell together, but to cohabit 
is difficult. 

Blessed the woman who is pleasing to her husband ; 
Saith Kabir, she shall not be born again. 

God under the allegory of a diamond. 


When the soul meeteth God, 1 the once fickle mind is easily 
absorbed in Him. 

This diamond God filleth everything with light ; I have 
found this by the instruction of the true guru — 

The praise of God were an endless story — 

When a man becometh perfect he recognizeth the Dia- 

Saith Kabir, I have seen such a Diamond as filleth the 
world with its light ; 

The concealed Diamond became manifest ; when I met 
the guru he showed it to me. 

In the following allegory Kabir refers to his early 

1 Literally — when a diamond pierceth a diamond. There are 
several interpretations of this line. 



understanding as his first wife and to his conversion 
as his second wife : — 


My first wife was ugly, of low caste, and bad character, 
evil both in her father's house and mine. 

My present wife is handsome, sensible, of good character ; 
I naturally took her to my heart. 

It turned out well that my first wife departed ; 

May she whom I have now taken live for ever ! 

Saith Kabir, when the young wife came I ceased to 
cohabit with the old one ; 

The young wife is with me now, the elder hath taken 
another husband. 

Kabir' s mother addresses him in the first four 
lines of the following hymn. Kabir was married 
to Dhania. The holy men who frequented the 
house called her Ramjania, or worshipper of God. 
But the name is also applied to courtesans dedi- 
cated to idols, and it was consequently offensive to 
Kabir's mother. She also complains that Kabir had 
devoted himself to religion and neglected his busi- 
ness : — 


My daughter-in-law was called Dhania ; 

They have now given her the name of Ramjania. 

These shaven fellows have ruined my family ; 

They have set my son uttering the name of God. 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 my mother, 

These shaven men have done away with my caste. 1 

The following is a lecture against the veiling of 
women. It was addressed to the second wife of 
Kamal, Kabir's son : — 


Stay, stay, my daughter-in-law, veil not thy face ; 
At the last moment it will not avail thee the eighth of 
a paisa. 

1 That is, I am no longer known as a weaver, but a worshipper of 


She who preceded thee used to veil her face ; 
Follow not thou in her footsteps. 
The only advantage of veiling thy face is 
That for five or ten days people will say a good daughter- 
in-law hath come. 

Thy veil will only be real 

If thou sing God's praises and skip and dance in His 

Saith Kabir, 0 daughter-in-law, thou shalt be victorious 1 
When thou passest thy life in singing God's praises. 

Kabir' s wife Loi refused to prepare a meal for 
a holy visitor, upon which Kabir manifested his 
displeasure. The following hymn except the last 
two lines is Loi's pleading for forgiveness : — 


Better would it be to be cut in twain with the saw than 
that thou shouldst turn thy back on me. 

Hear my entreaty and embrace me ; 

I am a sacrifice unto thee ; turn thy face towards me, my 

Why killest thou me by turning thy back on me ? 
Even though thou cut my body I will not turn it away 
from thee ; 2 

My body may perish, but I will not cease to love thee. 
There hath been no quarrel between thee and me ; 
Thou art the same good husband and I the same wife 
as before. 

Saith Kabir, hear, O Loi, 

I shall believe in thee no longer. 

The following was Kabir's reply to a Brahman 
who had advised him to bathe in the sacred rivers 
of the Hindus. 


He who is foul within will not go to heaven by bathing 
at. a place of pilgrimage : 

1 Thou shalt obtain salvation. 

2 Also translated — I will not wince. 



Nothing is gained by pleasing men ; 1 God is not a 

Worship the Lord, the only God ; 

Serving the guru is the true ablution. 

If salvation be obtained by bathing in water, the frogs 
which are continually bathing will obtain it ; 

But as the frogs so the pilgrims ; they shall be born again 
and again. 

If a hardened sinner die in Banaras, he cannot escape hell. 
If a saint of God die in Haramba, 2 he saveth a whole 

Where there is neither day nor night, Veds nor Shastars, 
there dwelleth the Formless One. 

Saith Kabir, meditate on Him, ye foolish denizens of the 


The following was addressed to a Brahman who 
Kabir supposed would be turned into an ox for his 
idleness and gluttony. The Hindus believe that 
they who live on others' wealth without any exer- 
tion on their own parts will become oxen, in which 
condition they will have to labour and suffer for 
their idleness in human lives. 


With four legs, two horns, and a dumb mouth, how wilt 
thou sing God's praises ? 

Standing or lying down the stick will fall on thee ; then 
where wilt thou hide thy head ? 

Without God thou shalt become somebody 3 else's bullock ; 

Thy nose shall be torn, thy shoulders maimed, and thou 
shalt eat worthless straw ; 

All day shalt thou wander in the forest, but even then 
thy belly shall not be satisfied. 

1 That is, by deferring to custom. 

2 Previously called Magahar. 

3 Thou shalt be lent to somebody who will treat thee badly, and 
not as he would treat his own. 


Thou didst not listen to the advice of holy men, and thou 
shalt suffer for thine omissions. 

Overwhelmed with great superstition thou shalt endure 
hardship, and wander in many births. 

Thou hast lost thy precious life by forgetting God ; when 
wilt thou again have such an opportunity ? 

Thou shalt turn and revolve like an oilman's bullock 1 
round his press, and restless shalt thou pass the night. 

Saith Kabir, for not having repeated God's name thou 
shalt smite thy head and repent. 

Kabir's mother was distressed at his conduct in 
relinquishing his trade and adopting a religious life. 
The following is a conversation between the mother 
and son on the subject. 


Kabir's mother sobbeth and weepeth — 

0 God, how shall these children live ? 2 
Kabir hath given up all his weaving, 

And hath inscribed God's name on his body. 
Kabir replieth — 

While the thread was passing through the bobbin 

1 forgot my Beloved God. 3 

My understanding is mean, my caste is that of weaver ; 

I have gained the name of God as my profit. 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 my mother, 

The one God will provide for us and them. 


All are lost without devotion. 


The Hindus kill themselves worshipping idols, the Musal- 
mans make prostrations ; 

The former are burned, the latter buried ; but neither 
sect knoweth anything of Thee, 0 God. 

1 Also translated — Like a monkey after red seeds. 

2 How shall Kabir's children be maintained ? 

3 Kabir means that even that was too long a time for him to abstain 
from repeating God's name, and so he gave up weaving. 



0 my soul, the world is stark blind ; 

On all sides Death's noose is thrown, but men see it not. 

Poets kill themselves reciting verses ; the Kaparis kill 
themselves going to Kedarnath ; 

Jogis kill themselves wearing matted hair ; but they know 
nothing of Thee, 0 God, 

Kings kill themselves amassing wealth and burying masses 
of gold ; 

Pandits kill themselves reading the Veds, and women in 
gazing on their beauty — 

Without the name of God all these are lost ; think and 
ponder upon this, 0 man. 

Without the name of God who hath obtained salvation ? 
Kabir giveth his admonition. 

The body is frail, yet it attaches itself to worldly 
things which desert it. 


When the body is burnt, it becometh ashes ; when it is 
not burnt, a host of worms eat it up. 

A soft clay vessel will break when water is put into it — 
such is the nature of the body. 

Why, O brother, goest thou about puffing and blowing 
thyself out ? 

How hast thou forgotten the ten months thou didst 
remain inverted in the womb ? 

As the bee collecteth honey with great zest, so the fool 
collecteth wealth. 

When a man is dead, they say ' Take him away ! take 
him away ! 

' Why allow a ghost to remain ? ' 

His wedded wife accompanieth him to the door, and after 
that his male friends. 

All the other members of his family go as far as the 
cremation-ground ; the soul departeth alone. 

Saith Kabh, hear, 0 mortals, they who have entangled 
themselves with the deceitful world, 

Are seized by Death, and fall into the pit like the parrot 
deceived by the trap. 


None may escape physical death, but it brings 
salvation to the holy. 


Man hearing all the instructions of the Veds and the 
Purans, desireth to perform religious ceremonies to over- 
come death. 

Death hath seized all people, even the wise ; the pandits 
too depart without hope. 

0 man, thou hast not succeeded in thy sole object 1 
Since thou hast not worshipped the supreme God. 

Men have gone to the forests, practised jog, performed 
austerities, and lived on the tubers and roots they picked up. 

The Nadis, 2 the readers of the Veds, the Ekshabdis, and 
the Monis 3 are all enrolled in Death's register. 

Loving service 4 entereth not into man's heart ; he pam- 
pereth his body and giveth it to Death ; 

He hypocritically singeth hymns, but what can he obtain 
from God ? 

Death hath fallen on the whole world ; in his register the 
sceptical theologian is recorded. 

Saith Kabir, they who know God's love and devotion to 
God are pure. 5 

The holy are completely saturated with God. 


With both mine eyes I look. 
But I behold nothing save God ; 
Mine eyes gaze affectionately on Him ; 
There is now no other subject mentioned. 
My doubts have departed, my fear hath fled 
Since I applied my mind to God's name : 
When the Actor beateth the drum, 

1 To save thyself in this human birth. 

2 Jogis who go about playing a small pipe. 

3 Men vowed to perpetual silence. 

4 Service such as that performed by Narad, the famous rikhi. 

5 The Persian word khulas, freed or delivered, was here originally 
written, but the tenth Guru altered its spelling to the Arabic Mali's, pure. 



Everybody cometh. to see the show. 1 

When the Actor collecteth the stage properties, 2 

He abideth alone in His happiness. 

Doubts are not dispelled by the use of words ; 

Everybody continueth to talk. 

God filleth the heart of him 

To whom through the guru's instruction He hath revealed 

When the guru bestoweth even a little kindness, 
Bodies and minds are all absorbed in God. 
Saith Kabir, I am dyed with the dye of God, 
And have found the munificent Life of the world. 

Man under the allegory of a milkmaid is won by 
the guru from neglect of God. 


The words of the sacred texts are as seas of milk : 

For that ocean let the guru be the churning-staff. 

Be thou the churner of that milk ; 

Why shouldst thou be despoiled of thy butter ? 

O damsel, why makest thou not God thy husband ? 

He is the life of the world and the support of the soul. 

The strait collar 3 is on thy neck and chains on thy feet ; 

God hath sent thee wandering from birth to birth. 

Thou heedest not even yet, O damsel ; 

Thou art the wretched victim of Death. 

It is God who acteth and causeth men to act ; 

What power hath the poor handmaiden ? 

The damsel whom God awaketh 

Attendeth to the duties He assigneth her. 

0 damsel, where hast thou obtained that wisdom 
By which thou hast erased the line of doubt ? 
Kabir feeleth great delight, 

And by his guru's favour his mind is happy. 

1 When God creates the world, men appear. 

2 When God draws the world within Himself. 

3 Connected by a chain with the feet and hindering the recumbent 


In reply to an inquiry Kabir describes the happi- 
ness he obtained from humility and devotion. 


When He without whom one cannot live 

Is found, man's toil is productive. 

Men call it a good thing to live for ever, 

But there is no life without death. 1 

Where divine knowledge is discussed what more remaineth 
to be said ? 2 

As we look on, the things of this world pass away ; 

As men rub and mix saffron and sandal, so man's soul 
is blended with God, 

And thus seeth the world without bodily eyes. 3 

Abandonment of the world as a father hath begotten divine 
knowledge as a son. 

Though placed in an unsubstantial city, 4 

I a beggar have found the Giver. 

He hath given me so much that I cannot eat it ; 

I cannot leave off eating 5 or finish it ; 

And I have ceased to go to strangers. 

The elect who know life to be death, 

Have obtained a mountain of happiness. 

Kabir hath obtained that wealth, 

And effaced his pride on meeting God. 

The lamp of holiness, not the Veds and Purans, 
lights up man's heart. 


What availeth reading, what studying, 
What hearing the Veds and Purans ? 
What avail reading and listening 
If divine knowledge be not obtained ? 

1 Without effacing oneself. 

2 Also translated — If man efface himself not, what use discussing 
divine knowledge ? 

3 Also translated — Men grind and mix saffron and sandal and waste 
them by applying them to idols ; 

The world appeareth to have no eyes. 

4 The body. 5 So dear is God's name to me. 



Thou repeatest not the name of God, 0 ignorant man ; 

Every moment of what thinkest thou ? 

A lamp 1 is required in this darkness 

To find the One Incomprehensible Thing. 2 

The lamp hath lit up my heart, 

And I have found the Incomprehensible Thing. 

Saith Kabir, I now recognize Him ; 

And when I recognize Him my mind is happy. 

People do not believe that my mind is happy ; 

But even if they do not, of what consequence is it ? 

The following was addressed to a hypocritical 
Brahman who advised Kabir to bathe at Hindu 
places of pilgrimage. 


In thy heart is deception, in thy mouth religion ; 
False man, why churnest thou water ? 
What advantage is it to bathe the body 
If there be filth in the heart ? 

It the gourd be washed at the sixty-eight places of pil- 

Even then its bitterness will not depart. 

Thus saith Kabir deliberately— 

Cause me to cross over the terrible ocean, 0 God. 

Men should not practise deceit for the advantage 
of relations. 


With great deceit man acquireth other men's wealth, 

And taketh it and lavisheth it on his son and wife. 

0 my man, practise not deception even by mistake ; 

At the last moment it is thine own soul that shall have 
to render an account. 

Every moment the body wasteth away and old age 
warneth thee ; 

Then no one will pour water into thy hands, 

Saith Kabir, thou shalt have no friend then ; 

Why not repeat God's name in thy heart betimes ? 

1 Divine knowledge. 

2 God. 


The guru has shown man how to protect himself 
from ferocious animals, to which the evil passions 
are compared. 


0 saints, my wandering mind hath obtained rest. 

1 reckon that I have obtained my deserts. 
The guru hath shown me the passage 

Through which wild animals surreptitiously enter. 

I have closed the gates thereof, 

And spontaneous music playeth for me. 

The pitcher of my heart was filled with the water of sin ; 

When I upturned it, the water was spilled. 1 

Saith Kabir, the man of God knoweth this, 

And knowing it, his mind is happy. 

Kabir once felt hungry and rebelled against God. 


A hungry man cannot perform service ; 
Take back this rosary of Thine. 
I only ask for the dust of the saints' feet, 
Since I owe not any man. 2 

0 God, how shall I fare if I am shamed before Thee ? 

If Thou give me not of Thine own accord, I will beg for it. 

1 beg for two sers of flour, 

A quarter of a ser of clarified butter and salt ; 

I beg for half a ser of dal 

Which will feed me twice a day. 

I beg for a bed with four legs to it, 

A pillow and a mattress ; 

I beg for a quilt over me, 

And then thy slave will cheerfully serve Thee. 

I have never been covetous ; 

Thy name alone becometh me. 3 

1 This metaphor has often occurred. The hearts of men generally 
are said to be inverted. The holy have theirs erect. 

2 I am not under an obligation to any one. 

3 That is, I only ask for these things that I may be able to repeat 
Thy name. 



Saith Kabir, my soul is happy ; 

And when my soul is happy, then I recognize God. 

The gods of the Hindus are ignorant of the Creator. 


Beings like Brahma's four sons, Shiv, 
And Sheshnag know not Thy secret. 
Through association with the saints God dwelleth in the 

Beings like Hanuman and Garuda. 
Indar and Brahma, know not, O God, Thine attributes. 
The four Veds, the Simritis, and the Purans, 
Vishnu, and Lakshmi know them not. 
Saith Kabir, he who toucheth God's feet and seeketh His 

Shall not wander in transmigration. 

Life gradually draws to a close : man should 
practise devotion betimes. 


Pahars are made up of gharis, days of pahars ; life draweth 
to a close ; the body pineth away ; 

Death wandereth about like a poacher in quest of game : 
say what shall man do to escape ? 

The last day approacheth ; 

Mother, father, brother, son, wife — say whose are they ? 1 

As long as the light of life remaineth in man's body, the 
brute knoweth not himself. 

He is anxious to obtain a long life, but he seeth not 
Death who is at hand. 2 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 mortal d'smiss thy mental doubts ; 

Repeat only the one Name, O mortal, and seek the 
asylum of the one God. 

1 Literally — does any one belong to any one ? 

2 Also translated — He is anxious to live longer though his eyes see 


Salvation depends on the state of man's heart 
not on the place of his death. 


What is strange to him who knoweth something of the 
love and service of God ? 

As water when blended with water separateth not again, 
so the weaver 1 hath blended with God. 

0 men of God, I am out of my senses — 

If Kabir leave his body at Banaras, what obligation is 
he under to God ? 2 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 people, let no one make a mistake ; 

What difference is there between Banaras and the barren 
Magahar, if God be in the heart ? 

Kabir requires nothing but God's name. 


It is through insufficient devotion men go 

To the heavens of Indra and Shiv and are born again. 

What shall I pray for ? nothing is stable. 

Keep God's name in thy heart ; 

Fame, power, wealth, and greatness 

Help no one at the last moment. 

Say who hath derived any happiness 

From son, wife, or wealth. 

Saith Kabir, nothing else availeth me ; 

The name of God is sufficient wealth for my heart. 

Remember and love God. 


Remember God, remember God, remember God, my 
brethren ! 

Without remembering God's name the majority of men 
shall be lost. 

Wife, son, body, house, and wealth confer happiness ; 

1 Julaho. There is a pun on this word. It means a weaver, and 
elsewhere it is applied to the soul. 

2 Because all people who die at Banaras must be saved, according 
to Hindu belief. 



But none of these shall be thine when the time of death 

Ajamal, the elephant, and the courtesan committed sin- 
ful acts ; 

Yet they were saved by repeating God's name. 

My brethren, you have wandered in the wombs of pigs 
and dogs, and yet you are not ashamed. 

Why forsake the ambrosia of God's name and eat poison ? 

Abandon doubt regarding acts which are prescribed as 
well as those which are forbidden, and take God's name. 

The slave Kabir saith, by the favour of the guru love God. 


Kabir calls on a worldly man to render an account 
of his life. 


Having been born what hast thou done ? 
Thou hast never repeated God's name. 
Thou wilt not repeat His name ; of what thinkest thou ? 
What preparation art thou making for death, O luckless 
one ? 

Though through woe and weal thou hast brought up thy 

At the time of death thou shalt bear thy troubles alone. 
When Death seizeth thee by the neck, thou shalt utter 
loud cries. 

Saith Kabir, why did I not remember God before ? 

The condition of one who fears God. 


My woman's heart palpitateth and trembleth ; 
I know not how my Spouse will treat me. 
The night hath passed away ; let not the days also pass. 1 
The black flies have gone ; the white cranes have now 
taken their place. 2 

1 That is, my youth has passed, let not my old age also pass in vain 

2 My dark hair has changed to grey. 



As water will not remain in a frail vessel, 1 

So the soul departeth when the body hath faded. 

I adorn myself like a young virgin, 

But how can I enjoy dalliance without my Spouse ? 

My arm is pained from driving away the crows. 

Saith Kabir, this tale is at an end. 2 

A dialogue between the soul and the messengers 
of Death. He who feels God's love needs have no 


Thy stewardship being ended, thou must give thine 

When the cruel messengers of Death come to take thee. 

They will ask thee what thou hast earned, and where thou 
hast squandered it ; 

They will say to thee, ' Come quickly, thou art summoned 
to court ; 

' The warrant of God's court hath come for thee.' 

Thou shalt implore them, and say, ' / have to collect some 
outstandings in the village, 

'And I shall adjust my accounts to-night ; 

' I will also pay you something for your expenses ; 3 

' At dawn we shall pray at an inn on the road '. 4 

Blest, blest is he and fortunate is his lot, 

Who feeleth God's love by association with the saints. 

That man shall ever be happy in this world and the next ; 

He hath won the priceless -prize of human birth. 

He who while awake to the world is asleep to God 5 hath 
lost that birth ; 

The property and wealth he hath accumulated shall 
become another's. 

Saith Kabir, that man hath gone astray, 

1 A vessel made of clay not hardened by fire. 

2 That is, life is at an end. 

3 As a bribe to the messengers of Death to allow the soul time to 
answer the warrant. 

4 That is, give me time to-day, and we shall be well on our journey 
early to-morrow morning. 

5 Also translated— He who after being awakened falleth asleep. 



Who forgetting the Bridegroom hath mixed himself up 
with things of clay. 

When avarice only departs with life and there is 
no thought of God, human birth is in vain. 


The eyes grow weary of seeing, the ears grow weary of 
hearing, this fair body groweth weary. 

When old age urgeth thee, all thy senses grow weary ; 
the desire for wealth alone wearieth not. 

O foolish man, thou hast not obtained divine knowledge 
and meditation ; 

Thou hast lost thy human birth in vain. 

0 mortal, serve God as long as there is breath in thy 
body ; 

Even though thy body perish, let not thy love for Him 
perish ; dwell thou at His feet. 

He in whose heart God hath implanted His Word hath 
ceased to thirst. 

Let the comprehension of God's will be thy game of 
chaupar, and the conquest of thy heart the throwing of 
the dice. 

They who know and worship God shall not perish. 
Saith Kabir, they who know how to throw such dice 
shall never lose their game. 

Kabir has triumphed over his evil passions, his 
senses, and death itself. 


There are five kings of one fortress ; the whole five ask 
for revenue 1 — 

1 have not tilled land belonging to any of them ; it 
would be hard on me to pay a tax for nothing. 

0 God's people, the village accountant 2 continually 
worried me, 

1 Hala from hal, a plough — so much revenue levied on every plough. 
The five evil passions claim their shares. 

2 Here meant for death. 

Q 2 


But I raised my arms aloft, complained to my guru, and 
he saved me. 

Nine surveyors 1 and ten judges 2 go on tour, and will not 
allow the agriculturists a to live ; 

They measure not with a full tape, and they take many 

The one Being who is contained in the seventy-two 
chambers of the body hath written off my account ; 

I have searched Dharmraj's office, and find I owe him 
not an atom. 

Let no one revile the saints ; the saints and God are one. 
Saith Kabir, I have obtained that Guru whose name is 

Death triumphs over all except God's sincere 



This world is like a show ; none may remain here ; 
Proceed the straight way, otherwise thou shalt be severely 

Children, the old, and the young, O my brethren, shall 
all be taken away by Death. 

God hath made poor man like a mouse ; Death like a cat 
eateth him up ; 

He payeth no regard to rich or poor ; 

He destroyeth kings equally with their subjects — so 
mighty is Death ! 

They who please God become His worshippers, and theirs 
is a special case ; 

They neither come nor go ; 5 they never die ; God is 
with them. 

Know in your hearts that by forsaking son, wife, wealth, 
and property which are perishable, 

1 The nine gates of ihe body. 

2 The organs of action and perception. 

3 Virtues or good qualities. 

4 Bibeko, God who makes one (ek) out of two {bib), who joins the 
soul of man with Himself. 

5 They do not suffer transmigration. 



Saith Kabir, you shall meet the Lord ; hear this, 0 ye 

Kabir is frenzied with devotion. 


I am not skilled in book knowledge, nor do I understand 
controversy ; 

I have grown mad reciting and hearing God's praises. 

0 father, I am mad ; the whole world is sane ; I am 
mad ; 

1 am ruined ; let not others be ruined likewise ; 

I have not grown mad of mine own will ; God hath 
made me mad — 

The true guru hath dispelled my doubts — 

I am ruined, and have lost my intellect ; 

Let nobody be led astray in doubts like mine. 

He who knoweth not himself is mad ; 

When one knoweth himself he knoweth the one God. 

He who is not intoxicated with divine love in this human 
birth shall never be so. 

Saith Kabir, I am dyed with the dye of God. 1 

Kabir' s self-abasement. 


Though man leave his home for the forest region and 
gather tubers to live on, 

His sinful and evil mind even then abandoneth not mis- 

How shall I be saved ? how cross over the great terrible 
ocean ? 

Preserve me, preserve me, 0 God ; I Thy slave have 
come to Thine asylum. 

The desire to gratify my evil passions forsaketh me not ; 

Though I make many efforts to guard myself against them, 
I am entangled in them again and again. 

My life hath passed — youth and old age — no good have 
I done ; 

1 I am imbued wilh God's love. 


This priceless human life attached itself to a kauri and 
became like it. 

Saith Kabir, O my God, Thou art contained in every- 
thing ; 

There is none so merciful as Thou, none so sinful as I. 
The superiority of God's saint. 


There is no king equal to God ; 

All the kings of this world are only for four days, they 
make false display. 1 

Why should the slave of Him who overshadoweth the 
three worlds waver ? 2 

Who can lay hands on him when one cannot even speak 
with due respect before him ? 

0 thoughtless and foolish mind of mine, think upon God, 
and the unbeaten music of ecstasy shall play for thee. 

Saith Kabir, all my doubts and uncertainties are at an 
end ; God hath favoured me as He did Dhru and Prahlad. 

Kabir depreciates himself. 


Preserve me, O God, though I have offended Thee. 

1 have not practised humility, the duties of my religion, 
repetition of Thy name, or worship ; I am proud, I wear 
my turban on the side of my head. 

Believing this body immortal I have pampered the frail 
and perishable vessel ; 

I have forgotten Him who made and favoured me, and 
I have attached myself to strangers. 

I am Thy house-breaker and not Thy saint ; I fall at 
Thy feet for protection — 

Saith Kabir, hear this supplication ; send me not intelli- 
gence of death. 3 

1 Also translated — They make a false claim to greatness. 

2 That is, allow his mind to wander from God. 

3 Holy men are not led off in triumph by Death ; they become 
insensibly blended with God. 



An appeal to God. 


0 God, I stand wearied at Thy court ; 

Who but Thee careth for me ? open Thy door and show 
Thyself unto me. 

Thou art my wealth, 0 Master ; Thou art generous ; 
Thou art lavish ; I hear with mine ears Thy great praise. 

Of whom shall I beg ? I see every one poor ; from Thee 
alone I obtain salvation. 

Thou didst confer endless favour on Jaidev, Namdev, and 
the Brahman Sudama. 

Saith Kabir, Thou art all powerful, Thou art generous, 
Thou bestowest the four blessings without delay. 

The following was addressed to a Jogi : — 


Thou dependest on a club, earrings, and patched coat ; 
In error thou wanderest in a Jogi's garb. 
Put away thy devotional attitudes and thy suspension 
of breath ; 

Abandon deception, and ever worship God, 0 fool. 
The wealth thou beggest for, the three worlds have en- 
joyed. 1 

Saith Kabir, God is the only Jogi in the world. 2 

Kabir mourns his lukewarmness and condemns 
all worldly things. 


O Sovereign of the world, Lord of the earth, mammon 
hath caused me to forget Thy feet. 

Even a little affection for Thee is not felt by Thy slave ; 
what shall Thy poor slave do ? 

Curse on this body, curse on this wealth, curse on these 
worldly things, a double curse on this perishable intellect 
and understanding ! 

0 man, firmly restrain this worldly love ; if thou subju- 
gate it, thou shalt be saved. 3 

1 That is, it is the leavings of the three worlds. 

2 Also translated — He who is united with God is the real Jogi. 

3 Also translated — Thou shalt be released from thine entanglements. 


What availeth agriculture ? what commerce ? false is 
worldly pride. 

Saith Kabir, they who practise such things are ultimately 
ruined, and death cometh to them at last. 

The soul's dependence is on God, not on the 
perishable body. 


The body is a lake in which a peerless lotus 1 bloometh ; 
The Supreme Being who hath neither outline nor form, 
the Primal Light, is within it. 

0 my soul, worship that God, abandon doubt ; God is 
the life of the world. 

The soul is not seen either coming or going, as is the body. 

Where the body is born, there it perisheth 2 like the leaves 
of the water lily. 

They who knowing the world to be transitory abandon 
it, are happy in the contemplation of God. 

Saith Kabir, worship God in thy heart. 

During life Kabir was absorbed in God as the 
sound of a bronze vessel is absorbed in it when 


Since my attention is fixed on God, I no longer suspect 
that I shall suffer transmigration ; 3 

Even in life I am absorbed in the Infinite ; the guru's 
instruction hath awakened me. 

The sound which is produced from bronze blendeth again 
with it ; 

When the bronze is broken, O Pandit, where will the 
sound be ? 

At the union of the three breaths 4 in the brain I have 
seen Him who is awake in every heart, 

1 The heart. 

2 That is, the body is resolved into the elements whence it sprang. 

3 Literally — my doubts regarding birth and death have departed. 

4 Of the left and right nostrils and their junction. Trikuti sandhi 
also includes gyala, the knower ; gyan, the means of knowledge ; 
and geya, the subject of knowledge. Devout men endeavour to unite 
all three. 



And nowsuch understanding hath entered my heart that 
I have abandoned the world. 

When I knew myself, my light was blended with God's 

Saith Kabir, I now know God and my mind is satisfied. 

The holy man will not waver but be everywhere 


O God, why should that man waver in whose heart abide 
Thy lotus feet ? 

Believe that all happiness and the nine treasures are his 
who tranquilly repeateth God's praises. 

When God openeth the hard knot, 1 man shall be wise 
enough to behold Him in everything. 

He who ever avoideth worldly love and weigheth his 
heart in the scale of meditation, 

Shall be happy wherever he goeth, 0 Lord, and worldly 
love shall not sway him. 

Saith Kabir, my heart is happy since it hath been absorbed 
in God's love. 

An inquirer asked Kabir with whom one should 
converse. The following was his reply : — 


When thou meetest a saint, have some conversation with 
him ; 

When thou meetest a man who is not a saint, remain 

Kabir was asked again — 
0 father, if I speak what shall I speak about ? 
For instance, ' Continue to repeat God's name.' 
They who talk to saints confer advantage on others ; 
They who talk to fools talk in vain. 

1 The distance between God and the soul. 


By incessant talking with them sin increaseth ; 
If I speak not to them, what harm can the wretches 
do me ? 1 

Saith Kabir, an empty vessel soundeth ; 
When it is full it never giveth forth a sound. 

Man's dead body is much more worthless than 
that of a beast, and consequently an object of con- 


When a man dieth he is of no use ; 

When a beast dieth he is of ten uses. 

What do I know regarding my fate ; 

What do I know, O sir ? 

Man's bones burn like a heap of fire-wood ; 

His hair burneth like a bundle of grass. 

Saith Kabir, man only awaketh 

When the club of Death toucheth his head. 

God is everywhere, even in the acts which attach 
to the soul. 


God abideth in the heaven above, in the earth beneath, 
and in every direction. 

The Supreme Being is ever the root of joy ; the body 
may perish, but God shall not. 

I am anxious to know 

Whence the soul cometh and whither it goeth. 

Five elements combined form the body ; out of what 
were the elements formed ? 

Thou sayest that the soul is bound by its acts ; who 
gave life to the acts ? 

The body is contained in God, God in the body ; He is 
uninterruptedly in all things. 

Saith Kabir, I will not abandon God's name, come 
what may. 

1 Also translated — If I talk not lo sainls, how can I practise dis- 
crimination ? 



The soul described by negatives. 


Somebody asked Kabir : — 

What is that whose limit hath never been found, 

Which dwelleth within the temple of the body ? 

Kabir replied — It is neither man nor demigod ; 

It is not a Jati or a worshipper of Shiv ; 

It is not a Jogi or an Audhut ; 

It hath no mother, nor is it any one's son ; 

It is not a householder or an anchoret ; 

It is not a king or a beggar ; 

It hath neither a body nor a drop of blood ; 

It is not a Brahman or a Khatri ; 

It is not an ascetic or a shaikh ; 

It is not born, nor is it observed to die ; 

Whoever weepeth for its death 

Shall lose his honour. 1 

By the favour of the guru, I have found the steep way ; 
Birth and death have both been erased for me. 
Saith Kabir, this soul is a part of God, 
As ink cannot be erased from paper. 2 

Kabir's wife thus addressed him on the neglect 
of his trade and his attentions to saints. 


Thy threads are broken, thy size is at an end. 

Thy reeds shine over the door, 

Thy poor brush hath gone to pieces — 

May death light on this shaven fellow's head ! 

This shaven fellow hath lost all his property. 

I am persecuted by those fakirs coming and going. 3 

1 Shall only excite contempt. 

2 Also translated — His praise cannot be erased from paper; that 
is, His praise is continually written and shall be permanent. 

3 This and the two preceding lines are also translated — 
Death hath lighted on these shaven fellows' heads. 
They have caused us to lose all our property. 

There is no end to their coming or going. 


Kabir now never speaketh of his beam or his shuttle ; 
His mind is only concerned with the name of God. 
His daughter and sons have nothing to eat ; 
Men with shaven heads are crammed night and day ; 
One or two are in the house, and one or two on the way. 
We have only a pallet on the ground ; they get a bed to 
sleep on. 

They rub their heads with satisfaction and carry books in 
their waist-bands ; 

We get parched pulse, they bread to eat. 

The shaven-heads and my shaven-headed husband have 
become all one. 

Kabir replieth — These shaven-heads are the support of 
the drowning. 

Hear, O blind misguided Loi, 

Kabir hath taken the protection of these shaven-heads. 

When man dies, mammon, who is described, 
weeps not for him. 


When the husband dieth, his wife weepeth not. 1 
She findeth another protector ; 
And when that protector also dieth, 
Hell awaiteth him though he have enjoyed pleasures here. 
One woman 2 alone is dear to the world ; 
She is the wife of all sentient beings. 
With a necklace on her neck she looketh beautiful ; 
She pleaseth the world, but is hateful as poison to the 

Adorning herself she either sitteth like an abandoned 

Or the wretch wandereth about accursed of the saints. 
When the saints flee from her, she pursueth them ; 
But, by the favour of the guru, she feareth punishment. 
She is the body and soul of the infidel ; 
Her dreadful witch's eye falleth on me. 

1 When man dieth, his wealth does not weep for him. 

2 Maya, wealth. She never becomes a widow, hence the title 



When the merciful holy guru met me, 

I became well acquainted with her secrets. 1 

Saith Kabir, I have now turned her out, 

And she hath attached herself to the skirt of the world. 

A further description of mammon. 


The guest cometh and departeth hungry 
From the house which hath no wealth. 
The guest loseth patience, 

And the host is blamed because he hath not means to 
entertain him. 

Hail to the woman who hath turned the heads 
Of very holy men and penitents high and low ! 
She is a miser's daughter ; 

Rejecting God's worshippers she sleepeth with everybody. 
At last standing at the saints' door, 
She saith, ' I have sought your protection, save me ! ' 
The woman is very beautiful ; 
Her ornaments tinkle on her feet ; 
As long as man is alive she attacheth herself to him ; 
When he dieth she quickly departeth without waiting for 
her shoes. 

The woman hath conquered the three worlds ; 

She hath made the eighteen Purans and the places of 
pilgrimage love her ; 

She hath pierced the hearts of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv, 

And infatuated great kings and sovereigns. 

There are no bounds to the woman ; 

She is in collusion with the five evil passions. 

Where the vessels of the five evil passions burst, 

Saith Kabir, I was delivered thence by the favour of the 

Without a guru man must fall and perish. 


If the rafters be taken from a house, the roof will fall ; 
So without God's name how can man be saved ? 

1 And was thus the better able to guard against her. 


As water will not remain without a vessel, 
So without a religious guide man shall go to hell. 
Burn him who thinketh not on God, 
But whose mind is ever absorbed in the field of his body. 
As without a ploughman land cannot be tilled, 
As without a thread jewels cannot be strung, 
And as without a loop clothes cannot be fastened, 
So without a holy guide man shall go to hell. 
As a child cannot be born without a father and mother, 
As clothes cannot be washed without water, 
As one cannot ride without an equipage, 
As without music there cannot be dancing, 
So without a guru man cannot reach God's court. 
As the bad woman leaving her husband looketh for an- 
other, thus eager should man be to obtain a guru. 
Saith Kabir, do one thing — 
Become holy and thou shalt not die again. 

The following hymn was a reply to some one who 
had addressed vile abuse to Kabir and called him 
a pander, a dancer, a street- walker, and a thief : — 


Is he a pander 1 who chasteneth his heart ? 

He who chasteneth his heart shall escape from death. 

The pander who thoroughly chasteneth his heart, and 
applieth to it the touch-stone of love, 

Shall obtain complete deliverance. 

Whom do you call a pander, O people ? 

In everything that is spoken discrimination should be used. 

Is he a dancer who danceth with his mind, 

Who is not satisfied with falsehood, who is pleased with 

And who beateth time with his heart in the presence of God ? 
God, whose mind is pure, preserveth such a dancer. 2 

1 Kulan as a noun is a pander and as a verb to beat or chasten. 
There is a play on the word in the original. It was applied to Kabir, 
because when his daughter was visiting him, he allowed a strange man 
shelter in his house. 

1 Also translated — God steadieth the mind of such a dancer. 



Is he a street-walker who sweepeth the market-place, 1 

And lighteth up the five wicks ? 2 

I accept as my guru that street-walker 

Who embraceth the service of the lord of the nine con- 
tinents. 3 

Is he a thief who is not envious, 

Who uttereth God's name and curbeth his senses ? 

Saith Kabir, blessings on my divine guru, 

Who possesseth all such qualities and who is very hand- 
some and clever. 

The following is an encomium on the staff of 
life :— 


Hail, O God, hail, O divine guru ! 

Hail to the corn by which the hearts of the hungry rejoice ! 
Hail to that saint who realizeth this ! 
He shall meet God. 

Corn cometh from the Primal Being — 

Repeat God's name with the relish of corn. 

Praise His name, praise His corn ; 

With water pleasant is its taste. 

He who abstaineth from corn, 4 

Shall lose his honour in the three worlds. 5 

She 6 who abandoneth corn and practiseth hypocrisy, 

Is neither a wife nor a widow. 7 

They who publicly boast that they live on milk, 

Secretly eat a whole five sers of corn. 

Without corn no one is happy ; 

Abandon corn and you shall not meet God. 

Saith Kabir, such is what I think ; 

Blessings on that corn by which man loveth his God ! 

1 That is, cleanses his heart. 

2 Illumines his five senses. This is also translated — Who 
admonisheth his five evil passions. 

3 Also translated — Who knoweth the nine forms of devotion to God. 

4 As some ascetics do. 

5 Because he practises hypocrisy. 

6 The feminine gender, as usual, for man in general. 

7 Is neither a worldly person nor an anchoret. 


The following was addressed to a Jogi who en- 
deavoured to induce Kabir to drink wine. 


Make thy body the vat, the guru's instruction thy molasses; 

Cut up avarice, lust, wrath, pride, and envy as thy kikar 
bark ; thus mix thy yeast. 

Is there any saint, in whose heart composure and happi- 
ness dwell, to whom I may offer my devotion and penance 
as commission for procuring me such wine ? 

I will give my soul and body for one drop of the wine 
which that vat produceth. 

I have made the fourteen worlds my furnace, and heated 
it with the fire of divine knowledge ; 1 

I have sealed the still with the gentle sound of God's 
name, and plastered it with what yieldeth mental happiness. 

Pilgrimage, fasting, daily religious ceremonies, purifica- 
tions, and austerities at eclipses of the sun and moon I 
would pledge for that wine. 

Make meditation thy cup, God's ambrosial name the pure 
juice, and drink that elixir ; 

From such a still a very pure trickling stream ever issueth, 
and the soul is delighted therewith. 

Saith Kabir, all other wines are insipid ; this is the true 

On the same subject. 


Make divine knowledge thy molasses, meditation thy 
bassia flowers, and the fear of God in thy heart thy furnace : 

The drinker who is absorbed in God by means of the 
breath of the sukhmana imbibeth such wine. 

0 Jogi, my mind is intoxicated — 

When that wine ascendeth to the brain man relisheth no 
other ; 2 there is then light in the three worlds. 

1 I have taken the light of divine knowledge to guide me. 

2 Also translated — Those who are intoxicated with celestial wine 
never taste earthly wine. 


Joining God and the soul I have prepared a furnace and 
drunk the excellent elixir ; 

I have burnt lust and wrath as firewood, and escaped 
from worldliness. 

The light of divine knowledge appeared to me when I 
met my true guru and obtained understanding. 

The slave Kabir is intoxicated with that wine, and will 
never abstain therefrom. 1 

Kabir was likened to a Kotwal for his severity to 
the wicked, and to a dog for his barking. He accepted 
both imputations. 


I honour the saints and I punish the wicked ; this is my 
court-house. 2 

I shampoo Thy feet, 0 God, day and night ; I turn my 
hair into a chauri and wave it over Thee. 

I am the dog at Thy court ; 

I bark in front of it 3 putting forward my snout. 

In a former birth I was Thy servant ; that position I 
cannot now resign. 

The gentle order of Thy court was branded on my fore- 
head. 4 

They who bear such brand fight bravely in battle ; they 
who bear it not flee away. 

He who is holy knoweth how to serve God, and God 
putteth him into His treasury. 5 

In the house of the body is the chamber of the heart, which 
becometh the most precious chamber of all when filled with 
meditation on God. 

The guru hath granted God's name, the Real Thing, to 
Kabir, saying, ' Take it and guard it ' ; 

Kabir hath offered it to the world, but only he who was 
so destined receiveth it — 

1 Also translated — that wine whose intoxication shall never subside. 

2 The Kotwal in modern times is a police-officer, but in the time of 
Kabir the Kotwal was a magistrate .and police-officer combined. 

3 That is, I pray to Thee. 

4 That is, I was branded as Thy slave in a former birth. 

5 Because he is a genuine and not a counterfeit coin. 



Abiding is the married state of her who hath found the 
immortal elixir. 

The Brahman trusts not to God but to the Veds 
and the Gayatri, and hence he shall be lost. 


Why shouldst thou, O Brahman, forget Him from whose 
mouth the Veds and the Gayatri issued ? 

Why shouldst not thou, O Pandit, utter the name of 
God, whose feet every one toucheth ? 

0 my Brahman, why not repeat God's name ? 

If thou utter not His name, 0 Pandit, thou shalt be 
cast into hell. 

Thou callest thyself exalted, yet thou eatest in the houses 
of the low, and fillest thy belly by the exaction of alms. 1 

On the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the half month 
thou devisest tales and beggest, but even with a lamp in 
thy hand thou shalt fall into the pit. 

Thou art a Brahman, I am a weaver of Banaras ; how 
can I be a match for thee ? 

By repeating the name of God I have been saved, while 
thou, 0 Pandit, shalt be lost by trusting to the Veds. 

A mystic hymn in which God is represented under 
the allegory of a tree. 


There is one tree ; 2 it hath endless branches and shoots ; 
its blossoms 3 and leaves 4 are filled with nectar. 5 

This world is a garden 6 of ambrosia ; God who is perfect 
hath created it. 

The few holy men in whose hearts the light of God shineth, 

Know the story of my beloved sovereign God. 

One bumble-bee 7 intoxicated with the juice of the flowers 

1 Literally— by obstinate acts, by threatening suicide, &c. 

2 God. 3 Saints. 

4 The rest of sentient beings. 5 God's name. 

6 In which the branches and shoots have been planted. 

7 The searcher for God. 



hath fixed his mind within the twelve petals of the lotus 
of the heart ; 

He then raising his breath to the lotus of sixteen petals 
in his brain gaineth the ecstatic fruit thereof. 1 

Another tree 2 was produced in the silent vacuum ; it 
dried up the waters of the earth ; 3 

Saith Kabir, I am a servant of those who have seen that 
tree. 4 

The following was addressed to a Jogi : — 


Make silence thine earrings, mercy thy wallet, and medi- 
tation thy cup ; 

Stitch thy body for thy patched coat, and make the 
Name thy support. 

0 Jogi, practise such Jog 

That thou may est while enjoying the world perform thy 
devotion, penance, and austerities under the guru's instruc- 

Make the knowledge of God the ashes thou smearest on 
thy body, 5 and meditation thy horn ; 

Abandoning the world, roam in the city of the body, and 
play thy heart as a kinguri ; 

Plant the five virtues in thy heart so that thy contem- 
plation may be undisturbed by the world. 

Saith Kabir, hear, O saints, make honesty and mercy 
your garden. 

1 There is supposed to be a lotus with twelve petals in the heart. 
Kabir means that his mind as a bumble-bee has entered that lotus. 
There is also supposed to be another lotus in the brain which 
has sixteen petals, and to this again his mind ascends. 

Others suppose that the numbers twelve and sixteen in the above 
lines mean the repetition of Oam similar numbers of times. 

2 This tree is divine knowledge which has its seat in the brain. 

3 It removed man's earthly desires. 

4 In this hymn tree is also said to mean the universe, the branches 
and shoots are the planets and stars, the flowers are the saints, the 
leaves the rest of sentient beings. 

6 Jogis smear ashes on their naked bodies as clothing or protection 
against the elements. 

R 2 


Kabir in a fit of introspection and self-abasement 
addressed himself. 


For what object wast thou born in the world, and what 
advantage hast thou gained from thy human birth ? 

Thou hast not applied thy mind even for a moment to 
God, the Fulfiller of desires, the Vessel to take thee across 
the terrible ocean. 

0 God, such sinners are we, 

That we have never performed service for that Lord who 
gave us our souls and bodies. 

The passion to possess others' wealth, children, and wives, 
and to slander and calumniate others hath not forsaken us. 

We suffer transmigration again and again ; this law is 
not broken. 

1 have not wandered even for a moment to where the 
conversation of the saints of God is held. 

Libertines, thieves, panders, and drunkards — with them 
have I ever consorted. 

My possessions are lust, wrath, covetousness, pride, and 

Mercy, honesty, and service to the guru have not come 
to me even in my dreams. 

0 God, compassionate to the poor, merciful, dear to the 
saints, Remover of fear, 

Prayeth Kabir, preserve Thine afflicted slave, O God, 
and I will perform Thy service. 

Remember God and do Him homage. 


Remember in thy heart the Being, 

By whose remembrance thou shalt obtain the gate of 

Go to heaven, and return not to this world. 

Play the trumpets in the house of the Fearless One, 

And the unbeaten strain shall ever fully resound for thee. 

Without remembering Him deliverance can never be 



Heartily bow before the Being, 
By remembering whom none may refuse thee ; 
Who conferreth salvation by which great loads of sin 
drop off, 

And thy transmigration is at an end. 
Remember Him through whom thou enjoyest thyself, 
And an everburning 1 lamp shall be placed within 
thee — 

The lamp 2 which rendereth the world immortal, 
And expelleth the poison of lust and wrath. 
Twine and wear on thy neck the rosary 
Of Him by remembering whom Thy salvation shall be 

Wear that rosary, doff it not, 

And by the favour of the guru thou shalt be saved. 
Remember the Beloved day and night, 
And thou shalt have no regard for men ; 
Thou shalt sleep at home in silken bed-clothes, 
And thy heart shall be gladdened by a pleasant couch 
Ever remember God in thy heart and sing His praises. 
By remembering Him thy troubles shall depart, 
And Maya affect thee not. 

From the true guru learn how to remember God ; 
Remember Him ever day and night. 
Standing or sitting, at every expiration and inspiration, 
Waking or sleeping, enjoy the sweets of remembering 
Him ; 

By remembering God thou shalt be united with Him. 3 
Make the remembrance of God's name thy support ; 
By remembering Him no weight of sin shall oppress 

Neither wrought nor spoken incantations can prevail with 
Him, 4 

Saith Kabir, who hath no limit. 

1 Literally— a lamp not fed with oil. 

2 Divine knowledge. 

3 Also translated — Thou shalt obtain good fortune. 

4 God is only moved by our remembering Him and repeating His 
name with devotion. 


The condition of him who has put his passions 
under subjection. 


He who hath captivated the captivators, 1 
Shall obtain deliverance, and the guru shall put out the 
fire of his passions. 2 
When I had thoroughly examined my heart, 
I made my ablutions within it. 
To dwell in God, the Lord of life, is the best thing ; 
There is then no death, or birth, or decay. 
Turning away from mammon I restrained my mind, 
And I entered'the region of God. 3 
I have pierced the serpent's way, 4 
And assuredly met God. 

Worldly love and mammon no more affect me ; 
The sun hath restrained the moon. 5 
When I completely stopped my breath, 
The lute played spontaneously. 
The preacher hath communicated this instruction ; 
The hearer hath heard and treasured it in his heart. 
He who acteth according to it shall be saved, 
Saith Kabir verily. 

God is a luminous diamond whose light fills crea- 


The moon and sun are both forms of light ; 
God the unequalled pervadeth their light. 

0 wise man, meditate on God 

In whose light creation is contained. 
Beholding God, the Diamond, I prostrate myself before 

Saith Kabir, He is bright and yet invisible. 

1 He who has put his passions under subjection. 

2 These two lines are also translated — 

They who are attached to worldly things fall into the net of Death, 
While they whose avarice the guru extinguisheth are delivered. 

3 Gagan — literally, the firmament — is a word applied by Jogis to 
the brain or tenth gate of the body where God dwells. 

4 A supposed passage for air through the spinal marrow to the brain. 

5 The brain retains the breath, and a state of exaltation supervenes. 



Some Hindus asked Kabir to give them instruc- 
tion, upon which he composed the following : — 


0 world, be alert and wakeful ; even while awake you 
are being robbed, my brethren. 

Even while the Veds, who are alert sentinels, look on, 
Death will take you away. 

The fool, the blockhead, and the pagan think that the 
nim is a mango, and the mango a nim; 1 

That a ripe plantain-tree 2 is but a prickly bush, and 
that the fruit of the coco-nut 3 is like the ripe fruit of the 

God is the sugar which hath been spilled in the dust ; 
it cannot be picked up by the elephant. 

Saith Kabir, renounce family, caste, and lineage, become 
ah ant, and thou canst pick up and eat the sugar. 

A remonstrance to a Brahman for offering animal 
sacrifice to an idol. 


0 Pandit, what folly meditatest thou ? 

Thou shalt be ruined with all thy family for not having 
repeated God's name, O luckless man. 

What availeth thee to read the Veds and the Purans ? 
It is like loading a donkey with sandal whose perfume he 
valueth not. 

Thou knowest not how to repeat God's name ; how shalt 
thou be saved ? 

Thou takest life and deemest it religious ; tell me, my 
brother, what thou callest irreligious. 

Thou makest thyself out an excellent muni ; whom callest 
thou a butcher ? 

Mentally blind thou knowest not thyself ; 4 

1 They think good evil and evil good. The fruit of the mm is 
bitter, of the mango sweet. 

2 God's name. 3 Association with saints. 
4 That is, God who is in thee. 


What shalt thou cause others to know ? 

Thou sellest knowledge for money, thy life passeth in vain, 

Narad and Vyas declare — and thou mayest go and ask 
Shukdev also — 

Saith Kabir, too, by uttering the name of God ye shall 
be delivered ; otherwise ye shall perish, my brethren. 

If is the condition of the heart, not man's garb 
or place of residence, which produces happiness. 


Unless you remove evil from your hearts, how shall you 
find God by dwelling in the forest ? 

They who deem their own homes equal to the forest are 
perfect among men. 

You shall obtain true happiness, 

If you lovingly repeat the name of the Life of the world. 

What avail wearing matted hair, smearing yourselves with 
ashes, and dwelling in caves ? 

He who hath conquered his own heart hath conquered 
the world, because he is free from the deadly sins. 

All people use eye-wash, but there is a difference in their 

The eyes to which the surma of divine knowledge is 
applied, are acceptable to God. 

Saith Kabir, I now know God ; the guru hath explained 
divine knowledge to me ; 

I have met God who dwelleth in the heart ; my mind 
shall now no more wander. 

The following was addressed to a Jogi whom Kabir 
found begging and boasting that he had obtained 
all spiritual wealth and perfection : — 


What hath he who hath obtained spiritual wealth and 
supernatural power to do with any one ? 

What shall I say regarding thy language ? I am much 
ashamed to speak to thee. 

He who hath obtained God, 



Wandereth not from door to door. 

This false world greatly burnetii for wealth in the hope 
of using it for a few days. 

Whosoever drinketh God's water shall not be thirsty 
again ; 

He who knoweth God by the favour of the guru abandoneth 
all worldly desires. 

When the heart is withdrawn from the world, the True 
One appeareth everywhere. 

The name of God saveth him who hath tasted its savour. 

Saith Kabir, I have become gold, my doubts have fled, 
and I have crossed the ocean. 

It was made a reproach to Kabir that he being 
a weaver dared preach to men of high caste. Upon 
this he preached equality of all men. 


As the bubbles of the river are accounted water and blend 
with the water of the ocean, 

So the man who looketh on all with an equal eye, shall 
become pure and blend with the Infinite. 

Why should I return to this world ? 

Transmigration taketh place by God's order ; he who 
obeyeth it shall blend with Him. 

When this fabric of five elements perisheth, my wandering 
shall be at an end. 

Forswearing sects, I look on all as equal and meditate on 
the one Name. 

I devote myself to and perform the duties which God 
assigned me. 

If God bestow mercy on me, I shall be absorbed in Him 
under the instruction of my guru. 

He who in life is in death, and who from death 1 returneth 
to life shall not be born again. 

Saith Kabir, he who is permeated with the Name fixeth 
his love on God. 

1 Being dead toward God. 


Kabir in a vision beheld God and rushed to em- 
brace Him, but was repulsed: The following was 
composed on the occasion : — 


If Thou repulse me, then show me the way of deliverance ; 
One God in many forms, Thou art contained in every- 
thing ; why dost Thou now illude me ? 

0 God, whither dost Thou take me for salvation ? 

1 ask Thee where Thou wilt give me salvation and of 
what degree, 1 seeing that by Thy favour I have already 
obtained it ? 

I called Thee my future saviour until I knew the reality ; 2 
I have now become pure in heart, saith Kabir, and my 
mind is happy. 

Kabir is said to have uttered the following to 
a man whom he found committing an act of im- 


Rawan had to leave the golden fortress and strongholds 
which he had made — 

0 man, why act est thou as it pleaseth thyself ? 

When Death cometh and catcheth thee by the hair, only 
God's name will save thee. 

Death and life are the work of God ; this deceitful world 
is only an entanglement ; 

Saith Kabir, they who have the elixir of God in their 
hearts shall ultimately be saved. 

The body likened to a village, the soul to its 
headman, and the senses to its agriculturists. 


The body is a village ; the soul placed therein is its 
headman ; five husbandmen dwell in it — 

The senses — eyes, nose, ear, tongue, and touch — which 
obey not my orders. 

1 There are four degrees of salvation — saloh, heaven ; samip, being 
near God ; sariip, assuming God's form ; sayuj, being absorbed in God. 

2 That Thou hadst already saved me. 



O father, I shall no longer dwell in this village ; 

The accountants called Chitr and Gupt ask for an account 
of every moment of mine, 

So when Dharmraj calleth for my account, there will 
be a heavy balance against me. 

The five husbandmen will then have all fled, and the 
bailiffs will arrest the soul. 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 holy men, settle your accounts on 
the field ; 1 

Pardon for this once thy slave, so that he may not have 
to return to this terrible ocean. 

A Bairagi who had come from Dwaraka told 
Kabir he had seen God there, and he asked him to 
go there too, and he would also see God. Upon 
this the following colloquy occurred. 


O Bairagi, no one hath seen the Fearless One ; 

Can the Fearless One be obtained without fearing Him ? 
' Certainly not.' 2 

0 Bairagi, if man were to see the Lord present, he would 
feel fear ; 

He who obeyeth God's order is without fear — ' Certainly.' 
O Bairagi, though all people are imbued with hypocrisy, 
Practise it not thou before God — ' Certainly not.' 
O Bairagi, men set not covetousness aside ; 
Egoism hath destroyed the body — ' Certainly.' 
O Bairagi, the fire of care hath burnt the body, 
But thou shall escape from it if thou deaden thy feelings — 
' Certainly.' 

Without a true guru there can be no contempt of the 
world, 0 Bairagi, 

Even though everybody desire it — ' Certainly.' 

0 Bairagi, if it be God's will, thou shalt meet the true 

1 That is, while alive. The metaphor is derived from the practice 
which prevailed before British rule of taking payments in kind. 
Creditors' and debtors' accounts were settled on the harvest field. 

2 Wana hanbai. In the Malwa dialect hanbai means yes. 


And shalt easily obtain God — ' Certainly.' 

Saith Kabir, O Bairagi, address one prayer to God, 

To take thee over the terrible ocean — ' Certainly.' 

Krishan was one day going to visit Duryodhan, 
but he heard that Duryodhan was then holding 
court. Krishan, in order to avoid the regal cere- 
monial and entertainments connected therewith, re- 
mained the night with Vidur. Next day when 
Krishan and Duryodhan met, the latter upbraided 
him in a friendly manner for not having gone straight 
to him. The following is Krishan's reply : — 


0 king, who would go to thee ? 

1 have seen such affection on Vidur's fart that the poor 
man pleaseth me. 

Beholding thine elephants, thou hast been lost in error 
and hast not recognized God. 

I consider Vidur's water as nectar in comparison with 
thy milk. 

I got vegetables without condiment, but to me they were 
equal to khir, and the night passed in Vidur's singing 
God's praises. 

Kabir's God is joyous and happy, and payeth no atten- 
tion to anybody's caste. 


The following two sloks in the Rag Maru are 
attributed to Kabir. The battle referred to is 
perhaps intended to represent man's struggle with 
his evil passions. These are the only lines in the 
Granth Sahib relating to war. 

When the drums sound aloud, the conspicuous warriors fall 
wounded ; 1 

1 Also translated — (a) Aim is taken, and wounds are inflicted ; 
(&) When the guru's drum soundeth, the disciple, at whom it is aimed, 
is wounded. 



The brave have entered the battle-field ; now is the time 
for combat. 

Recognize him as a hero who fighteth for the love of his 
religion ; 

He may die cut in pieces, but will never desert the battle- 

The following was a sharp remonstrance addressed 
to some men of high rank. 


You have forgotten your religion, O madmen ; you have 
forgotten your religion. 

You fill your bellies, you sleep like beasts, you have lost 
your human births ; 

You have never associated with saints, but have adopted 
false occupations ; 

You wander like dogs, pigs, and ravens ; 

You deem yourselves great and others small ; 1 

I have seen you going to hell in thought, word, and deed. 

The lustful, the wrathful, the deceitful, the dissemblers, 2 
and the idlers, 

Pass their time in doing evil and never remember God. 

Saith Kabir, fools, blockheads, and pagans reflect not ; 

They know not God's name ; how shall they be saved ? 

Men should remember God and not be led astray 
by worldly pleasures. 


Remember God or thou shalt repent it ; 

0 sinful soul, thou practisest avarice, but thou shalt 
depart to-day or to-morrow. 

Through thine attachment to avarice and being led astray 
by mammon, thou hast wasted thy life. 

Be not proud of thy wealth and youth ; they dissolve 
like paper. 

1 Literally — you deem yourselves vowels and others consonants. 

2 Literally — actors. 


When Death cometh and seizeth thee by the hair and 
knocketh thee down, on that day shalt thou be powerless. 

Thou hast not remembered God, or worshipped Him, or 
shown mercy to His creatures, therefore shalt thou be 
smitten on the mouth. 

When Dharmraj asketh for thine account, what face shalt 
thou show him ? 

Saith Kabir, hear, ye good men, ye shall be saved in the 
company of the holy. 

The condition of him who has obtained salvation 
during life. 


They who abandon praise as well as blame, who reject 
honour as well as dishonour, 

Who consider iron and gold the same, are the image of God — 
Few, 0 Lord, are Thy servants ! 

They who abandon lust, wrath, covetousness, and worldly 
love behold God's feet. 

What are called the qualities of impulse, ignorance, and 
goodness are all contained in Thy Maya. 

Only they who understand the fourth degree, have 
obtained the supreme position ; 

They never entertain love for pilgrimages, fasting, or for 
the religious ceremonies, purifications, and austerities of the 

By meditating on God, avarice, worldly love, and doubt 
depart ; 

The darkness of the mansion in which the lamp of divine 
knowledge burneth is dispelled ; 

Its owner abideth completely fearless, and his doubts have 
fled ; saith Kabir, I am his slave. 3 

The saint deals in holiness and is thus emancipated 
during life. 


Some deal in bronze and copper, others in cloves and 
betel-nut ; 

1 Also translated — The slave Kabir saith. 



The saints deal in God's name ; that is my merchandise 
0 dealers in the name of God, 

The priceless diamond hath come to hand, and worldly 
thoughts have fled. 

They whom the True One attached to truth, remain 
attached to it ; truth is their occupation. 

They dispatched a load of the true thing, and it reached 
God the storekeeper. 

God is Himself the gem, the jewel, and the precious 
stone ; He is Himself the jeweller ; 

He is in every direction immovable ; 

He setteth everything in motion ; 

He is a permanent dealer. 

0 man, make thy heart the ox, meditation the road, fill 
thy sack with divine knowledge, and load it on the ox ; 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 saints, my goods have arrived at 
their destination. 

The following was addressed to a Jogi who forti- 
fied himself for his austerities by potations of wine. 


0 ignorant and stupid brawler, 1 reverse thy breath and 
direct it to thy brain ; 

Then turn thy brain into a furnace, draw the nectareous 
stream, and thou shalt become divinely intoxicated. 

O brother, call upon God for assistance. 

O saints, ever drink this wine so difficult to obtain, and 
your thirst shall easily be quenched. 

In the fear of God is love ; he who knoweth this shall 
obtain God's elixir, my brother. 

Ambrosia is in every heart ; God giveth it to whom- 
soever He pleaseth. 

There is one city ; 2 it hath nine gates ; 

Restrain thy wandering mind from issuing by them. 

After the exercise of the ira, pingla, and sukhmana, the 
tenth gate openeth and the mind becometh intoxicated. 

1 Kalwar — also translated as if written kaldl, a wine-seller, then 
a drunkard. 2 The body. 


When the soul obtaineth the fully fearless dignity, suffering 
is at an end, saith Kabir deliberately. 

Turning from the way of the world I have obtained this 
wine, a cup of which causeth divine intoxication. 

Religious instruction addressed to a dissolute fop. 


Thou who art saturated with lust, wrath, and covetous- 
ness, knowest not the way of the One God. 

Thine eyes are burst, thou seest nothing, thou art drowned 
even without water. 

Why walkest thou so foppishly ? 

Thou art a compound of bones, skin, and filth, and 
saturated with evil odour. 

Thou repeatest not God's name ; in what doubts hast 
thou gone astray ? Death is not far from thee. 

Whatever efforts thou makest to preserve thy body, shall 
it last when thy term of life is complete ? 

Nothing resulteth from thine efforts ; what can any 
mortal do ? 

If it be God's will, man shall meet a true guru and repeat 
the One name. 

Thou livest in a house of sand and puffest out thy body, 
O simpleton. 

Saith Kabir, they, however clever, who remember not 
God are lost. 

The following was addressed to the same person. 


Crooked thy turban, 1 crooked thy gait, 2 thou beginnest 
to eat betel ; 3 

Thou hast naught to do with the love and service of 
God ; thou sayest ' I have business in court '. 

Thou hast forgotten God in thy pride ; 

Ever gazing on thy gold and thy very beautiful women 
thou deemest them permanent ; 

1 Thou wearest thy turban on the side of thy head like a fop. 

2 Thou walkest foppishly. 

3 So as to give a rosy colour to thy lips. 



Thy life passeth away in covetousness, falsehood, sin, 
and great arrogance. 
Saith Kabir, Death will attack thee at last, O fool. 

Kabir reminds a worldly person of his death. 


Having beaten thy drum for four days, thou shalt depart. 

With all thine earnings, thy ready money, and thy buried 
treasures, thou shalt take nothing with thee. 

Thy dear wife will sit and weep in the portico ; thy 
mother will go as far as the gate with thee ; 

All thy friends and relations will accompany thee to the 
burning-ground ; But thy soul shall depart alone. 

Thou shalt not again behold thy sons, thy wealth, thy 
towns, and thy cities. 

Saith Kabir, why remember not God ? thy life is passing 
in vain. 

God's name is Kabir's sole property. 


The name of God is my wealth ; 
I cannot tie it in a knot, or sell it for my livelihood. 
The Name is my field, the Name is my garden ; 
I Thy slave, 0 God, perform Thy service and seek Thy 

Thy name is my wealth, Thy name my capital ; 
I know none but Thee. 

Thy name is my kindred, Thy name my brethren, 
Thy name my associates, who will assist me at the last 

Saith Kabir, I am a slave to him 

Whom God keepeth in the world, but who is indifferent to it. 

The following was addressed to a rich man who 
had offered Kabir money : — 


Naked thou earnest and naked shalt thou depart ; 
None shall remain — not even kings or rulers. 



I have the sovereign God as my nine treasures ; 
Thou hast the love of property, women, and wealth ; 
But they did not come with thee, nor shall they go with 

What availeth thee to have elephants tied at thy gate ? 
The fortress of Ceylon was made of gold, 
But what did the fool Rawan take with him ? 
Saith Kabir, meditate some good acts : 
The gambler shall depart with empty hands. 

God alone is pure. 


Impure is Brahma, impure is Indar ; 
Impure is the sun and impure the moon. 
This world is defiled with impurity ; 
Pure is God alone who hath neither end nor limit. 
Impure are the gods of the worlds ; 
Impure are nights, days, and months devoted to idolatry. 
Impure are pearls, impure are diamonds, 
Impure are wind, fire, and water ; 
Impure are Shiv, Shankar, and Mahesh ; 1 
Impure are Sidhs, Sadhiks, and those who wear religious 
garbs ; 

Impure are Jogis, and Jangams with their matted hair ; 
Impure is the body with the soul — 
Saith Kabir, only those who know God, 
Are pure and acceptable. 

The following was addressed to a hypocritical 
Muhammadan priest who had advised Kabir to 
make a pilgrimage to Makka. 


Make thy mind thy Kaaba, thy body its enclosing temple, 
Conscience 2 its prime teacher ; 
Then, 0 priest, call men to pray to that mosque 
Which hath ten gates. 

1 Three names of Shiv. The Hindus say that there are eleven 
Shivs. 2 Literally — thy speaker. 



Sacrifice 1 wrath, doubt, and malice ; 
Make patience thine utterance of the five prayers. 
The Hindus and the Musalmans have the same Lord ; 
What can the Mulla, what can the Shaikh do for man ? 
Saith Kabir, I have become mad ; 
Stealing my mind away from the world I have become 
blended with God. 

Some one represented to Kabir that he was com- 
pletely spoiled by his religious exercises. The 
following was his reply : — 


When a stream is lost in the Ganges, 
It becometh as the Ganges itself ; 
Kabir is similarly lost in God by invoking Him ; 
I have become as the True One and need not go elsewhere. 
The perfume of the sandal is communicated to other 
trees ; 

They then become as the sandal itself. 

When the philosopher's stone is applied to copper, 

It becometh gold ; 

So Kabir having met the saints, 

Hath become as God. 

The following was addressed to some Brahmans 
who had attributed Kabir's contempt for their 
religious ceremonies to madness. 


You wear tilaks on your foreheads, carry rosaries in your 
hands, and put on sectarial dresses : 
People think that God is a plaything — 
If I am mad, 0 God, I am still Thine. 
How can people know my secret ? 2 
I gather no leaves 3 and I worship no idol ; 

1 Mismil a corruption of the Arabic bismillah, in the name of God, 
an expression used by Musalmans when slaughtering animals. 

2 That is, the cause of my madness. 

3 To offer to idols. 

S 2 


Without devotion to God other worship is fruitless. 
I worship the True Guru, and ever and ever propitiate 
Him ; 

For such service I shall obtain happiness in His court. 

People say Kabir is mad, 

But only God knoweth Kabir's secret. 

Kabir renounces both the Hindu and the Muham- 
madan priests. 


Turning away from the world I have forgotten both caste 
and lineage ; 

My weaving is now in the infinite silence. 1 

I have now no quarrel with any one ; 

I have given up both the Pandits and the Mullas. 

I weave clothes and I wear them myself ; 

Where I see no pride 2 there I sing God's praises. 

What the Pandits and the Mullas prescribed for me, 

I have received no advantage from, and have abandoned. 

My heart being pure 3 I have seen the Lord ; 

Kabir having searched and searched himself, hath found 
God within him. 

Kabir when reproached with his poverty replied : — 


Nobody respecteth the poor man ; 

He may make hundreds of thousands of efforts, but no 
one will heed him. 

If a poor man go to a rich man, 

The latter, though opposite him, will turn his back. 

If a rich man go to a poor man, 

The latter respecteth, yea, inviteth him ; 

Yet the poor man and the rich man are brothers : — 

God's design 4 cannot be set aside. 

Saith Kabir, it is he who is poor, 

In whose heart the Name abideth not. 

1 In the realms of God. 2 That is, in the society of the saints. 

3 Also translated— being freed from the world. 

4 In making one poor and the other rich. 



Worship God betimes. 


When man serveth the guru and worshippeth God, 

It is only then he really hath a human body. 1 

Even the demigods 2 long for this body ; 

Therefore having obtained it, 

Worship God ; forget Him not ; 

That is the advantage of human birth. 

Before the disease of old age hath come upon thee, 

Before Death hath seized thy body, 

Before thy voice hath grown weak, 

0 man, worship God. 

If thou worship Him not now, when wilt thou, my 
brother ? 

When the end cometh thou canst not do so. 
Whatever thou doest, it is best to do now ; 
Otherwise thou shalt not be saved, and shalt afterwards 

He is a worshipper whom God applieth to His worship ; 
It is he who shall obtain the pure God. 
The doors of his understanding shall open to him by 
meeting the guru, 
And he shall not return again by the way of the womb. 
This is thine opportunity, this thy time ; 
Look into thy heart and reflect on this. 
Saith Kabir, 0 man, whether thou win or lose, 

1 have many times called out to thee. 

In the following Kabir appears to mean that God 
resides in the brain. 


The best knowledge abideth in the city of Shiv ; 3 
Having obtained it there, meditate upon God* 

1 That is, it is only then his human birth is profitable. 

2 The demigods are proud, and do not praise God. They can only 
obtain deliverance by being born in human bodies. 

3 The brain or tenth gate. 

4 This and the preceding line are also translated— Men of the 
highest intellect raise their breath to the brain ; 

Do thou meeting them contemplate God. 


And thou shalt know this world and the next. 
Why should I kill myself performing works of pride ? 
My attention is fixed on the special place — the brain ; 
The name of the Sovereign God is my divine knowledge. 
He who hath closed his sphincter ani, 1 
Hath placed the moon above the sun. 2 
At the western gate the sun is hot ; 3 
The breath then riseth to the brain from the spine. 
The western gate is closed by a rock ; 4 
There is a window 5 over that rock. 
Over the window is the tenth gate — 
Saith Kabir, He who dwelleth there hath neither end nor 

Kabir gives his ideas of what a Mulla, a Qazi, 
and a superior of Jogis ought to be. 


He is a Mulla who struggleth with his heart, 
Who by the instruction of the guru contendeth with Death, 
And crusheth Death's pride. 
Salutation ever to that Mulla ! 
God is present ; why describe Him as distant ? 
If thou restrain thy pugnacity, thou shalt obtain the 
Beautiful One. 
He is a Qazi who pondereth on his body, 
Who burneth it with divine fire, 

And alloweth not his seed to drop even in his dreams— 
For such a Qazi there is no old age or death — 
He is an emperor 6 who knoweth how to draw up his two 
breaths, 7 

1 So that all the breath of the body may go to the brain. This 
act is done mechanically by resting the anus on the heel. 

2 This verse is explained — He has set knowledge with its tiny light 
above universal ignorance. 

3 When the breath rises to the top of the spine. 

4 A piece of flesh which the Jogis suppose to be at the top of the 
spinal column. 

5 This is a second obstacle lo the passage of the breath. 

6 Sultan — By this word is here meant a superior of Jogis. 

7 Who knows how lo exercise the ira and pingla. Also translated — 
who shoots two arrows— knowledge and contempt of the world. 



Who recalleth his mind when it goeth abroad, who col- 
lecteth the army of breaths 1 in his brain — 

Such a one is an emperor, and hath an umbrella over 
his head. 

The Jogis cry out ' Gorakh, Gorakh ' ; 
The Hindus repeat ' Ram, Ram ' ; 
The Musalmans have Khuda, 
But Kabir's God is the All-pervading. 

The following hymn, which is a homily against 
idolatry, is said to have been composed by the fifth 
Guru from a theme of Kabir. 


Vain is his devotion, 
Who saith a stone is God. 
Idle shall be his labour 
Who falleth at the feet of a stone. 
My God always speaketh ; 2 
He bestoweth gifts on all living things. 
He who is blind knoweth not God who is within him ; 
He is led away by superstition, and entangleth cithers. 
A stone speaketh not, nor bestoweth gifts ; 
Vain are the ceremonies of idolaters and fruitless their 

Say what advantage can be gained 

By anointing a corpse with sandal. 

If any one roll a corpse in the dirt, 

What harm can it do the corpse ? 

Saith Kabir, I proclaim with a loud voice — 

Understand me, ye infidels and pagans ; 

The love of other gods hath destroyed many homes, 

The saints of God are ever happy. 

The universal influence of Maya and the means 
of counteracting it. 


The fishes in the water are led by Maya ; 3 

1 The body is supposed to have ten breaths, all of which the Jogis 
believe they can collect in the brain. 2 He is not silent like an idol. 
3 Their sense of taste, their palates. 


The moths round the lamp are influenced by Maya ; 
Through Maya the elephant feeleth lust ; 
Creeping things and bumble-bees 1 perish through Maya — 
My brethren, Maya is so bewitching 
That she illudeth all living beings — 
Birds and beasts are imbued with Maya ; 
She causeth great hardship to the honey-bees ; 2 
Horses and camels are saturated with Maya ; 
The eighty-four Sidhs are the sport of Maya ; 
The six Jatis are the slaves of Maya ; 
So are the nine Naths, the sun, and the moon ; 
Penitents and the supreme Rikhis are lulled by Maya ; 
In the power of Maya are Death and his five messengers ; 3 
Dogs and jackals are imbued with Maya ; 
So are monkeys, leopards, lions, 
Cats, sheep, and foxes ; 
Trees and tubers are subject to Maya ; 
The demigods are saturated with Maya ; 
So are the ocean, the firmament, and the earth. 
Saith Kabir, he who hath a belly is subject to Maya ; 
But man shall be freed from her influence when he hath 
found a saint. 

Let man fix his attention on God and not on 
worldly things. 


As long as man speaketh of things as his own, 

So long not one of his affairs shall prosper. 

When he ceaseth to speak of things as his own, 

Then God shall come and adjust his affairs. 

To that end, O man, ponder on divine knowledge. 

Why rememberest thou not God, the Destroyer of misery ? 

As long as lions inhabit the forest, 

So long shall the forest not flourish. 4 

When the jackal eateth the lion, 5 

The whole forest bursteth out in bloom. 

1 The lotus closes on them at night. 

2 In their anxiety to store honey. 3 The five evil passions. 

4 The other animals of the forest will be unhappy. 

5 When divine knowledge destroys pride. 



They who think themselves victorious are lost : and they 
who think themselves defeated are saved ; 1 
By the favour of the guru they cross over. 
The slave Kabir admonisheth all men 
To fix their attention on God alone. 

A brief description of God's court to which Kabir 
craves admittance. 


Who will introduce poor me to Him 
Who hath seven thousand commanders, 
A lakh and a quarter of prophets, 
Eighty-eight karors of men called Shaikhs, 
And fifty-six karors of servants to amuse Him ? 
His court is afar off ; who can reach His private chamber ? 
He hath thirty-three karors of play-houses ; 
Eighty-four lakhs of beings wander in them. 2 
He showed some favour to father Adam, 
And put him into paradise for a long time. 
The faces of those whose hearts are not right are pale, and 
their utterance is confounded ; 
They forsake their books and work evil. 
They who attribute blame to God and are angry with Him, 
Shall obtain the fruit of their acts. 
Thou art the giver, 0 Lord ; I ever beg of Thee : 
If Thou refuse me, I am ruined. 3 
The slave Kabir is in Thy sanctuary. 
Keep me, O Merciful One, near Thee. 

Kabir desires not heaven but absorption in God. 


Everybody saith he is going thither ; 4 
I know not where heaven is. 

They who know not the secrets of their own hearts 

1 This verse is also translated — They who are overcome by their 
evil passions are lost, and they who conquer them are saved. 

2 Also translated — wander as His jesters. 

3 The gyanis translate — A stain shall attach to Thee. The line is 
also translated— If 1 reply, I shall be at fault. 4 To heaven. 


Glibly talk of heaven. 

As long as man desireth heaven, 

He shall not dwell at God's feet. 

I know not where heaven's gate is, 

Nor its moat, nor its plastered fortress. 

Saith Kabir, what more can I now say 

Than that the society of saints is heaven ? 

Kabir tells how he subdued his evil passions. 


How shall I subdue this beautiful fortress, 1 my brother, 

Which hath double walls 2 and triple moats, 3 

Whose entrenchments are the five subtle elements, the 
twenty-five categories* worldly love, pride, jealousy, and 
very powerful Maya ? 

I who am poor cannot obtain strength to take that fortress ; 
what shall I do, 0 God ? 

Lust is its folding doors, woe and weal its gate-keepers, 
demerits and merits its gates ; 

Anger, which is very quarrelsome, its commander ; and 
the heart its rebel king. 

The defenders had dainties for their coats of mail, egoism 
for their helmets, and evil understanding for the bows they 
drew ; 

Covetousness, which dwelleth in the quiver of the heart, 
became their arrows ; thus the fortress was impregnable ; 

But I made divine love the fuse, meditation the howitzer, 
and divine knowledge the shells ; 

I gently lit the fuse with the fire of God's name, and 
captured the fortress with one shot. 

I began to fight assisted by truth and contentment, and 
battered both its doors ; 

1 The body. 

2 The two walls are doubt and wrong-headedness. 

3 The three moats are the three qualities. 

4 The twenty-five categories of the Sankhya philosophy. See 
Monier Williams's Indian Wisdom and the Introduction to Cockburn 
Thompson's Bhagavat Gila. An enumeration of the categories here 
would not assist the Sikh student. 



By the favour of the congregation of the saints and of 
the guru I made its king a prisoner. 

By dint of remembering God I, a coward, have cut the 
noose of Death. 

The slave Kabir hath scaled the fortress, and secured an 
imperishable empire. 

The following refers to another persecution of 
Kabir : — 


The Ganges is a deity deep and profound ; 

I, Kabir, was made to stand in it with chains on my feet. 

My spirits fell not ; why should my body fear ? 

My mind was absorbed in God's lotus feet ; 

My chains were broken by the ripples of the Ganges, 

And I found myself seated on a deer-skin. 

Saith Kabir, I had no friend or companion 

But God the Protector both by water and land. 

God and His residence. 


God constructed an inaccessible fortress 1 for His residence, 

Which He illumined with His light. 

The lightning playeth and pleasure reigneth 

Where the youthful 2 Lord God reposeth. 

If the soul love God's name, 

Man shall be released from old age and death, and his 
doubts shall flee away. 

He whose mind loveth to consider whether a man's caste 
is high or low, 

Chanteth the hymn of egoism. 

The sound of the unbeaten music is heard 

Where the Lord God reposeth. 

He who fashioned continents and different countries, 
The three worlds, the three gods, and the three qualities, 

1 The tenth gate or brain. 

2 Some translate this the minute or invisible. 


Though styled inaccessible and invisible, dwelleth within 
the heart. 

None can find the limit or the secret of the Sustainer of 
the earth ; 

He shineth in the plantain blossom and in the sunshine, 

And hath taken His dwelling in the pollen of the lotus. 

God's spell is within the twelve petals of the heart 

Where the holy Lord of Lakshmi reposeth. 

The great God reacheth from the lower to the upper 
regions of the firmament ; 

He illumineth the silent realm, 

Where there is neither sun nor moon. 

He was in the beginning ; He is without stain and happy. 

Know that he pervadeth the body as well as the universe ; 

He batheth in Mansarowar ; 1 

His pass- word is ' Soham ' (I am He) ; 

He is not subject to merits or demerits, 

Nor concerned with caste, with sunshine, or with shade ; 

He is only found in the guru's asylum. 

He who fixeth his attention on Him removeth it not, 
becometh released from transmigration, 

And absorbed in the Infinite. 

He who knoweth God in his heart 

And repeateth His name, becometh as He. 

Saith Kabir, that mortal shall be saved 

Who fixeth in his heart God's light and spell. 

God, God's servants, and God's court. 


Millions of suns shine for Him ; 

He hath millions of Shivs and Kailases ; 2 

Millions of Durgas shampoo His limbs ; 

Millions of Brahmas recite the Veds for Him— 

If I beg, let me beg only of God ; 

I have naught to do with any other god — 

Millions of moons form His lamps ; 

Thirty-three demigods cook His food ; 

1 In the lake of the heart. 

2 A peak in the Himalayas where the Ganges is supposed to rise. 



The nine planets 1 multiplied millions of times stand on 
duty in his court ; 
Millions of Dharmrajas are His porters ; 
Millions of winds from the four cardinal points fan Him ; 
Millions of Sheshnags lay His bed ; 
Millions of oceans are His water-carriers ; 
The eighteen million loads of vegetables are His hair ; 
Millions of store-keepers fill His store-houses ; 
Millions of Lakshmis decorate Him — 
He removeth many millions of demerits and merits — 
Millions of Indars wait on Him ; 
The fifty-six millions of clouds are His messengers ; 
He is celebrated and unrivalled in every land. 
With His tresses loose and with terribleas/>£c/He moveth — 
God playeth in millions of ways — 
There are millions of feasts at His court ; 
Millions of celestial singers hail Him ; 
Millions of sciences all describe His attributes, 
But even then they cannot find His end. 
In His hair are millions of Bawans, 
And Rants who out-generalled Rawan's army, 
And Krishans who humbled the pride of Duryodhan, 
Greatly extolled by a thousand million Purans. 
Millions of Cupids cannot compete with Him in beauty — 
He stealeth away the inmost heart. 
Saith Kabir, hear me, O God, 
Grant me the fearless dignity, the gift I crave. 

The following was written under the grateful 
influence of early spring in the north of India. 


The earth bloometh, the firmament rejoiceth ; 
Every heart is gladdened by God's light. 
The Lord God rejoiceth in endless ways ; 

1 These are — Suraj, Chand, Mangal, Budh, Brihaspati, Shukkar, 
Sanichar, Rahu, and Ketu. The days of the week are named, in 
India, after the first seven. 


Whithersoever I look, there is He contained. 

The four Veds rejoice in worldliness ; 

So do the Simritis with the books of the Musalmans. 

Shiv practising Jog rejoiceth — 

Kabir's Lord bloometh equally in all things. 

Kabir accepts as saints Shukdev, Akrur, Hanuman, 
and Shiv, famous for their continence, and rejects 
the hypocritical Brahmans, Jogis, Sanyasis, and Peni- 
tents of his time. 


The Pandits grow proud reciting the Purans, 
The Jogis in practising Jog, 

The Sanyasis in saying there is no one like themselves ; 

The Penitents even in their different penances 

Are all intoxicated with pride ; none of them is awake. 

The thieves 1 who rob houses are already with them. 

Shukdev and Akrur 2 are awake ; 

Hanuman with the tail is awake ; 

Shiv is awake and worshippeth God's feet ; 

In this Kal age Namdev and Jaidev are awake. 3 

There are several forms of waking and sleeping : — 

He who is awake under the guru's instruction is the best. 

The most important duty of this body, 

Saith Kabir, is to repeat God's name. 

To obtain salvation without a guru would be 


Hath a wife ever given birth to her husband ? 

Hath a boy ever dandled his father ? 

Hath a woman without breasts ever suckled ? 

See, 0 people, the peculiarity of this Kal age — 

Hath a son ever taken his mother in marriage ? 

Can a man without feet ever leap ? 

Can a man without a mouth burst into laughter ? 

Without sleep can man repose ? 

1 The evil passion?. 2 An uncle of Krishan. 

3 The persons mentioned did not allow worldly matters to interrupt 
their devotions. 



Can one churn milk without a churn ? 

Can a cow without an udder give milk ? 

Can one accomplish a long journey without a road ? 

So the way cannot be found without a true guru, 

Kabir saith, and admonisheth all men. 

God saves his saints as He did Prahlad. 


Prahlad was sent to school for instruction ; 
He took several boys with him as his class-fellows. 
He said to his teacher : — ' Why teach me worldly entangle- 
ments ? 

' Rather write on my tablet the name of God. 

' I will not, sir, abandon the name of God ; 

' I have no concern with any other instruction.' 

His tutor's sons, Sanda and Marka, 1 went and reported 
the matter to Prahlad's father. 

He sent for Prahlad, telling them to run quickly to him ; 

Then he addressed him : — ' Abandon the habit of repeating 
God's name ; 

' I will let thee go at once if thou obey my words.' 
Prahlad replied, ' Why dost thou continually annoy me ? 
' I should be a sinner were I to abandon the one God 
4 Who made the water, the dry land, the hills, and the 

4 Throw me into the fire or kill me if it please thee.' 
His father became angry and drawing his sword said, 
' Show me that Preserver of thine.' 
Upon this God expanding came forth from a pillar, 
And killed Harnakhas by tearing him with His nails. 
It was the Supreme Being, the God of gods, who appeared. 
For the sake of His saint He became incarnate as the 

Saith Kabir, He whose limit cannot be seen 
Saved Prahlad several times. 2 

1 Brahma's son was Bhrigu, Bhiigu's son was Shukkar, Shukkar's 
sons were Sanda and Marka. 

2 His life had been often in danger before from the bigotry and 
violence of his father, and the present occurrence was but the 
culmination of many acts of paternal cruelty. 


Kabir prays to be protected from lust. 


Within this body and mind is the thief Cupid, 
Who hath stolen my jewel of divine knowledge. 
I have no patron, O God, to whom I may make my 

Whom hath Cupid not ruined ? Who am I that I should 
escape ? 

0 God, this terrible pain cannot be endured ; 
What power hath my fickle mind against Cupid ? 
Sanak Sanandan, the sons of Brahma, Shiv, Shukdev, 
Vishnu, Brahma, and others know his power. 
The poets, the Jogis, the wearers of matted hair, 
Passed their lives guarding themselves against him. 
Thou, O God, art unfathomable ; I cannot find Thy depth. 

0 God, Lord of the poor, to whom else may I tell my 
woes ? 

Let the pain of birth and death subside, and grant me 

Kabir singeth the praises of the Ocean of happiness. 
The body under the allegory of a merchant. 


There is one head of the firm and five traders, 1 

Who take with them spurious wares on twenty-five oxen. 2 

There are ten bags 3 and nine poles 4 to lift them ; 

The body is bound by seventy-two ropes. 

1 have nothing to do with that commerce 

By which my capital is lessened, and my interest ever 

I have trafficked by joining the seven threads ; 5 

1 The head of the firm is man, the five traders the five senses. 

2 The spurious wares are worldly things. 

3 Generally understood to be the ten breaths of the body. 

4 The nine gates of the body. 

5 Bairag, contempt of the world ; bibek, discrimination; khatsampat, 
the six acquisitions; moksh ichha, desire of deliverance; shrawan, 



I have joined with them good acts and God's love. 

The three tax-gatherers 1 wrangle for their share ; 

But I a trader put them aside and departed. 

The capital of the five traders is lost, their trade is ruined, 

And the oxen disperse in every direction. 

Saith Kabir, O man, thy business shall prosper, 

And thy doubts depart when thou art absorbed in God. 

A Brahman had censured Kabir for not having 
paid due attention to caste rules in eating. The 
following was his reply : — 


Thy mother was impure, thy father was also impure, and 
impure is the fruit they have borne. 

The unlucky people came impure, they departed and died 

Tell me, O Pandit, what place is pure 
Where I may sit and take my food. 

My tongue is impure, what it saith is impure, the ears 
and eyes are all impure. 

The impurity of the senses departeth not, 0 thou who 
art burning with Brahmanical wrath. 

Fire is also impure, water is impure, and impure the 
place where thou sittest and cookest it. 

With an impure ladle it is served up, and impure are 
those who sit and eat it. 

Impure thy cow-dung, impure thy cooking-square, and 
impure the lines which mark it out. 

Saith Kabir, that man is pure who hath obtained true 

hearing God's name ; tiiauan, obeying God's will ; nididhyCxsan, 
profound and continued meditation. 

The six sampats or acquisitions are — Sam, restraint of the mind ; 
dam, restraint of the senses ; uparali, the preservation of the heart 
from love and hate; laliksha, endurance of pain; shradha, faith; 
samadhdnta, attention to the guru's instruction. Others, by the seven 
threads, understand the five organs of perception, the mind, and the 

1 The three qualities. 



Kabir's wife had ground corn and gone out with- 
out collecting the flour. Kabir being left alone in 
the house paid more attention to his devotion than 
to his housekeeping. A dog came and began to 
lick the flour on the hand-mill. The following was 
addressed to the intruding animal :— 


Thy stride is like that of a cow ; 

The hair over thy tail is shiny. 

Search for and eat anything in this house ; 

Go not to another's house, 

Lick the hand-mill, eat the flour ; 

Whither takest thou the towel 1 of the hand-mill ? 

Thou gazest very intently on this safe ; 

Take care that the stick fall not on thy back. 2 

Saith Kabir, thou hast fared well ; 

Take care that no one throw a brick or a clod at thee. 3 

Kabir endeavours to recall man to a sense of his 


Why, 0 man, art thou proud of a small matter ? 

With a store of only ten mans of corn and four double 
paise in thy pocket thou swaggerest along. 

Even if thou obtain greatness, yea, a hundred villages, 
and have an income of two lakhs of rupees, 

Thy authority shall only last for four days like the green 
leaves of the forest. 

No one hath brought wealth with him, and no one shall 
take it away. 

Greater sovereigns than even Rawan departed inamoment; 
God's saints who worship Him and repeat His name abide 
for ever. 

1 A cloth to collect the flour as it falls from the hand-mill. 

2 That is, run away before my wife or my son returns ; you shall 
meet with a different reception from them. 

3 This hymn is also applied allegorically to man. 



They to whom God is merciful meet the society of the 

Neither mother, father, wife, son, nor wealth shall go 
with thee at the last moment. 

Saith Kabir, worship God, 0 fool, or thy life shall pass 
away in vain. 

God's omnipotence. 


0 God, I know not the measure of Thy regal authority ; 

1 am the handmaiden of Thy saints. 

They who go laughing return weeping, and they who go 
weeping return laughing ; 

What is inhabited becometh deserted, and what is deserted 
becometh inhabited. 

God turneth water into dry land, dry land He turneth 
into wells, and wells into mountains ; 

He can raise man from earth to heaven, and when he 
hath ascended to heaven dash him down. 

He can turn a beggar into a king, and a king into a beggar. 

He can turn an idiot into a pandit, and a pandit into an 

He can turn a woman into a man, and a man into a 

Saith Kabir, God is beloved of the saints ; I am a sacrifice 
unto Him. 

Man should rely on God and practise humility. 


Without God what succour hath man ? 

The love of parents, brethren, sons, and wife is all fleeting. 

Construct a raft for the other world ; what reliance can 
be placed on wealth ? 

What confidence can be reposed in this vessel, if it be 
chinked in the slightest ? 1 

Thou shalt obtain the fruit of all religion and good works 
if thou desire to become the dust of everybody's feet. 

Saith Kabir, hear, O saints, the mind is like the flying 
bird of the forest. 

1 If it receive even the slightest external pressure. 
T 2 


Kabir's bliss in feeling that he is saved — 


My dread of transmigration is at an end 
Since God displayed His love for me. 
The light hath dawned, the darkness is dispelled ; 
I have obtained the jewel God by meditation on Him. 
When He conferreth happiness sorrow fleeth away ; 
The jewel of my heart is absorbed in God's love. 
Whatever occurreth is according to Thy will, 0 God ; 
He who understandeth this shall be easily absorbed in 

Saith Kabir, all my sins have been blotted out, 
And my soul is absorbed in the Life of the world. 

God is not confined as regards place to the mosque 
or the temple, or as regards time to any month or 


If God dwell only in the mosque, to whom belongeth the 
rest of the country ? 

They who are called Hindus say that God dwelleth in an 
idol : I see not the truth in either sect. 

0 God, whether Allah or Ram, I live by Thy name, 

O Lord, show kindness unto me. 

Hari dwelleth in the south, Allah hath His place in the 

Search in thy heart, search in thy heart of hearts ; there 
is His place and abode. 

The Brahmans yearly perform twenty-four fastings on the 
eleventh day of the dark and light halves of the lunar month ; 
the Musalmans fast in the month of Ramzan. 

The latter put aside eleven months of the year, and say 
that the Treasure is in one alone. 

What availeth the Hindus to bathe at Jagannath in 
Urisa (Orissa), what the Musalmans to bow their heads in 
a mosque ? 

With deception in their hearts they repeat prayers ; what 
availeth them to go on a pilgrimage to Makka ? 



The men and women Thou hast created, 0 God, are all 
in Thy form. 

Kabir is a child of Ram and Allah, and accepteth all 
gurus and pirs. 

Saith Kabir, hear, 0 men and women, seek the sanctuary 
of the one God ; 

0 mortals, only repeat God's name, and then shall you 
be assuredly saved. 

In Kabir's presence a Brahman and a Muham- 
madan priest were reviling each others' sacred books. 
The Muhammadan expatiated on the merits of 


Say not that the Hindu and Musalman books are false ; 
false is he who reflecteth not on them. 

If you say that the one God is in everything, then why 
kill fowls? 

0 priest, say is this God's justice ? 
Thy mental doubts forsake thee not ; 

Thou seizest and bringest living things, and takest their 
lives, but thou merely killest their bodies of clay. 

Their souls return to the Indestructible ; say what hast 
thou killed. 

What avail thy purifications, thy rinsings of the mouth, 
and thy prostrations in the mosque ? 

If thou pray with deception in thy heart, what availeth 
thee thy pilgrimage to Makka ? 

Thou art impure ; thou knowest not the Pure One ; thou 
knowest not His secrets. 

Saith Kabir, thou hast missed heaven, and art satisfied 
with hell. 

Kabir offered to God the following oblation in- 
stead of incense, light, and the other accessories of 
Hindu worship. 


Hear 1 me, God of gods, Supreme Lord, primal and omni- 
present, / offer my vespers unto Thee. 

1 Sun, also translated — as an epithet of God— without desires. 


The Sidhs even in deep meditation have not discovered 
Thy limits, but they continue to cling to Thine asylum. 

Accept this oblation, 1 0 bright Spirit ; worship the True 
Guru, my brethren. 

Brahma standeth and readeth the Veds, but the Unseen 
is seen not by him. 2 

With divine knowledge as mine oil and Thy name my 
wick I have made a lamp to illumine my body. 

I have lit the lamp with the light of the Lord of the world ; 
he who knoweth how to do this knoweth the Omniscient. 3 

The unbeaten sounds of God who dwelleth with man, are 
my five musical instruments. 

O Thou Formless and Undisturbed, Thy slave Kabir hath 
made Thee this oblation. 4 


Kabir, my rosary is my tongue, on which I repeat God's 
name ; 

In every age it bringeth peace and comfort to all God's 


Kabir, everybody laugheth at my caste ; 
I am a sacrifice to this caste in which I repeat the Creator's 


Kabir, why waverest thou ? Why lettest thou thy mind 
vacillate ? 

God is the Lord of all happiness ; quaff the essence of 
His name. 

1 Of flowers, incense, light, &c. 

2 Tuat is, God does not heed him. 

3 Also translated— The wise man knoweth how to do this. If 
sitjhe were read for bujhe the two words would be translated — The 
Omniscient would become manifest. 

4 This hymn is included in the Arati of the Sikhs. 


Kabir, if golden earrings were to be made and rubies 
set in them, 

They would appear like burnt reeds if God's name were 
not in the wearer's heart. 1 


Kabir, there are few who while alive are dead, 2 
And who fearlessly sing God's praises ; whithersoever 
I look there is He to save me. 


Kabir, on the day I am dead there shall be rejoicing 
after me ; 3 

I shall then have met my God, and my friends will worship 
Him instead of weeping. 


Kabir, I am the worst of men ; except myself everybody 
is good ; 

He who holdeth the same opinion is my friend. 


Kabir, worldly love came to me in various disguises. 
But my guru preserved me ; worldly love then made me 
obeisance and departed. 


Kabir, destroy that Maya whose death shall make thee 
happy ; 

Every one shall then say it is well ; no one shall deem 
it ill. 


Kabir, when the nights are dark, thieves arise ; 
They run about with nooses for men ; know that they 
are accursed of God. 

1 This is understood to be a satire on Indian bankers who generally 
wear large earrings. 

2 That is, who practise humility and efface their pride. 

3 Also translated — On the day my pride is dead there shall be 



Kabir, the sandal-tree is good even though surrounded 
by the dhak-tree ; 1 

If the latter be near the sandal-tree, it will also become 
fragrant as sandal. 


Kabir, the bamboo is drowned in its pride ; 2 may nobody 
be drowned so ! 

It may grow near the sandal, but it is never perfumed 
by it. 3 


Kabir, man hath lost his faith through mammon, but 
mammon will not accompany him ; 

He hath carelessly struck his foot with an axe by his 
own hand. 

The following is said to have been written in reply 
to some one who had invited Kabir to attend a 
religious fair : — 


Kabir, wherever I wandered I saw spectacles everywhere ; 
Without the saint who loveth God, the world is in my 
opinion a desert. 


Kabir, the hut of the saints is comfortable ; the village 
of the false is a furnace. 

May fire prey upon that mansion where the name of God 
is not ! 


Kabir, why weep when a saint dieth, since he is merely 
going home ? 

Weep rather for the poor infidel who is sold at every shop. 4 

1 The Butea Frondosa. 

2 It holds its head high, yet it is hollow in the centre. 

3 They who are hardened in their pride are not improved by asso- 
ciation with the humble. 

4 Who has to undergo transmigration.. 


Kabir, the infidel is like a dinner of garlic ; 
One may sit in the corner and eat it, but its smell becometh 
manifest at last. 


Kabir, the body 1 is a churn, the breath of life its churning- 
staff ; 

The saints eat the butter, the world drinketh the butter- 


Kabir, the body is the churn, the breath of life the stream 
of iced water ; 2 

He who hath churned shall eat the butter, and so shall 
his helpmates also. 


Kabir, Maya is a thief who breaketh into and robbeth 
the shop ; 3 

One man, Kabir, who hath chased her in every direction, 4 
she shall not rob. 5 


Kabir, they who make many friends are not happy in 
this world ; 

But they who keep their minds fixed on the one God 
ever enjoy happiness. 


Kabir, while the world feareth death, my heart is pleased 
therewith ; 

Since it is only by death supreme bliss is obtained. 


Kabir, when thou obtainest the jewel of God's name keep 
it to thyself, 6 

1 Maya here means body, because it is the result of illusion. 

2 Put into the churn in India in the hot weather to assist the 
churning process. 

3 Who breaks into the heart, and robs it of its virtues. 

4 Others translate— Kabir hath cut her up in twelve pieces. 

5 Kabir chased her to arrest her, but she ran in every direction, 
literally, by twelve ways to avoid him, and so she cannot rob him. 

6 Literally — Open not the knots of thy dress in which it is tied. 


For there is no bazaar to sell it in, no connoisseur, no 
purchaser, no price for it. 


Kabir, love him who hath made God his master ; 
Learned men, kings, lords of the soil — of what avail is 
love for them ? 


Kabir, by loving the one God all other love departeth, 
Whether thou wearest long hair, or shavest thy head 
clean. 1 


Kabir, the world is a chamber of soot ; blind are they 
who enter it, and they become defiled. 

I am a sacrifice to those who have entered it, and come 
forth clean. 


Kabir, this body shall depart ; if possible detain 2 it : 
They who had hundreds of thousands and millions departed 


Kabir, this body shall depart ; put it on some road 
On which it may either hold converse with saints, or 
sing God's praises. 


Kabir, everybody dieth in his turn, but no one even 
knoweth how to die ; 

When thou diest, so die that thou shalt not have to die 
again. 3 


Kabir, it is difficult to obtain human birth ; it cometh 
not again and again ; 

As the ripe fruit of the forest, when it falleth to the 
ground returneth not to the parent-branch. 

1 Some understand this line to mean — Whether thou adoptest a 
worldly or an ascetic life. Sanyasis or hermits shave their heads. 

2 Let not thy human birth go in vain. 

3 That thou shalt have no more transmigration. 



Somebody came to visit Kabir, and asked him if 
Kabir (great) was his name. The following, addressed 
to God, was his reply : — 


It is Thou, 0 God, who art Kabir (great), and whose name 
is Kabir (great) ; 

Man shall only obtain the jewel of the Lord when he 
despiseth his body. 


Kabir, utter not idle complaints against God ; nothing 
shall result from what thou sayest ; 
No one can set aside what the merciful One doeth. 


Kabir, nobody who is counterfeit can withstand God's 
touchstone ; 

Only he who in life is dead can bear its ordeal. 


Kabir, men wear gaudy robes, and eat betel leaves and 
betel nut ; 

But without the name of the one God they shall be bound 
and taken to the city of Death. 


Kabir, my boat is old, and leaketh in a thousand chinks ; 
Boats very lightly laden cross over, but those with heavy 
cargoes 1 founder. 


Kabir, man's bones burn like firewood, his hair burnetii 
like grass ; 

Kabir is sad on seeing everybody burning. 2 


Kabir, be not proud of thy bones wrapped up in skin ; 
They who rode excellent horses, and under umbrellas, were 
at last buried in the earth. 

1 Of sin is meant. 

2 This was written after witnessing a cremation. 



Kabir, be not proud on seeing thy lofty dwellings ; 
To-day or to-morrow thou shalt lie beneath the earth, and 
the grass shall grow over thee. 


Kabir, be not proud, let none laugh at the poor ; 
Now thy bark is on the sea ; who knoweth what shall 
happen. 1 


Kabir, be not proud on seeing thy beautiful body ; 
Thou shalt leave it to-day or to-morrow as a serpent its 


Kabir, if thou must plunder, then plunder, but let thy 
plunder be the name of God ; 

Otherwise thou shalt afterwards repent when life hath left 
thy body. 


Kabir, few 2 have been born who have applied the fire 
of divine knowledge to their bodies, 

Who have burnt the five evil passions, and with the same 
fervour continued to love God. 


Is there any one who will sell me his son ; any one who 
will sell me his daughter ? 3 

7s there any one who will go into partnership with Kabir, 
and deal in God's name with him ? 


Kabir, I remind thee, O man — and entertain no doubt 
on the subject — 

1 Thou mayest be brought low thyself, and men will laugh at ihee. 

2 In the original, none, but this apparently is an exaggeration of 
religious enthusiasm. 

3 This slok is an allegory. By son Kabir meant soul, and by 
daughter body. Is there any one who will devote his soul and body 
to God's worship? Another explanation is the following — Is there 
any one who will give me his son — his heart — in exchange for my 
daughter, religious instruction. 



Thou canst not exchange the pleasures thou hast already 
enjoyed for even a morsel of coarse sugar. 1 


Kabir, I first thought that learning was good, then that 
the Jog philosophy was better than learning ; 

But now I shall never forsake the service of God, even 
though men revile me for it. 


Kabir, how can the wretched people who have no divine 
knowledge in their hearts, revile me ? 2 

Kabir having abandoned every occupation continueth to 
repeat God's name. 


Kabir, the wanderer's skirt hath caught fire on all sides ; 3 
The tattered garment hath been burnt and reduced to 
charcoal, but the flame hath not touched the waist-string. 4 


Kabir, the tattered garment hath been burnt and reduced 
to charcoal, the skull hath burst into atoms ; 

The poorjogi hath had his day, and dust only remaineth 
where he sat. 


Kabir, man is like a fish in a little water ; the angler 
casteth in his net ; 

Man shall not escape in this little pond ; he ought to 
think of returning to the Ocean. 5 


Kabir, leave not the Ocean, though it be very brackish ; 6 

1 The pleasures thou hast enjoyed are useless to thee now. 

2 That is, what care I for their reviling ? 

3 Death has attacked man's body. 4 The soul. 

5 The little water and the little pond mean the world. The ocean is 
God from whom man emanated, and with whom he ought to seek 
refuge from the angler's net, that is, death. 

6 Forsake not God's service even though it be attended with hardship. 


If thou search for shelter in every pond, 1 no one shall 
call thee good. 


Kabir, they who had no guru were wafted away ; there 
was no one to stop them — 
Practise meekness and humility, 2 come what may. 


Kabir, the bitch of God's saints is good, but the mother 
of the infidel is bad ; 

The former ever heareth the Lord's name and praises, 
the latter goeth to commit sin. 


Kabir, man is like a lean stag ; this world is a lake sur- 
rounded by verdure ; 

There are hundreds of thousands of hunters and but one 
life — how long can it escape ? 3 


Kabir, if thou make thine abode on the bank of the 
Ganges, thou mayest drink pure water ; 

But thou shalt not obtain salvation without devotion to 
God ; the great departed have said this. 4 


Kabir, me whose mind is pure as Ganges water, 
God followeth and addresseth, ' Kabir ! Kabir ! ' 5 


Kabir, turmeric is yellow and lime white ; 

When both colours are blended, the beloved God is met. 6 

1 If thou have recourse to the gods and goddesses of the vulgar. 

2 Also translated — make humility thy religion. 

3 Man is like a hungry stag let loose on the grassy margin of a 
lake. He revels in the rich pasture afforded him, has no time for 
other reflection, and consequently becomes an easy prey to Death the 

4 Also translated— Saying this, Kabir departed from Banaras for 

5 Also translated — Kabir, God followeth those whose minds are 
pure as Ganges water, and saith that they are superior to it. 

G Turmeric and lime stand for men of different castes. Turmeric 


Kabir, turmeric then loseth its yellowness, and not a trace 
of the whiteness of lime remaineth ; 

I am a sacrifice to that love by which tribe and caste 
and lineage are effaced. 


Kabir, the door of salvation is narrow, the breadth of the 
tenth of a grain of mustard ; 

The mind is as large as an elephant ; 1 how can it pass 
through ? 


Kabir, if I meet a true guru and he kindly favour me, 
The door of salvation shall be made wide, and I can 
easily pass through. 

Kabir's hut once fell, and people asked him to 
repair it ; the following was his reply : — 


Kabir, I have no hut or shed ; I have no house or village ; 

1 have no caste or name that God should ask who this 
man is. 


Kabir, I desire to die, but when I die let it be at God's 

So that God may ask, ' Who is this lying at My door ? ' 


Kabir, I did not do this, nor will I do it again, nor am 
I physically able to do it ; 

How do I know what God may have done ? Yet it was 
all Kabir. 2 

means men of low castes, lime men of high castes. High caste men 
were originally fair in comparison with the brown aborigines of 
India. When turmeric and lime are blended, a red product used 
for sacrificial marks on the forehead results. When holy men of 
different castes meet, God is obtained by their association, and their 
castes disappear. 1 Man is very proud. 

2 This slok has already been given in the life of Kabir. 



Kabir, the skin of my body shall be shoes for his feet 
From whose mouth in his muttering dream issueth God's 


Kabir, we are puppets of clay, but bear the name of 
men ; 

Though guests for only four days, we occupy very great 


Kabir, I have converted myself into henna and thoroughly 
ground myself, 

But, even so, God never inquired about me and never 
allowed me to touch His feet. 


Kabir, the door from which no visitor is repelled 
How shall I leave, since such a door there is ? 


Kabir, I was drowning, but the wave of good qualities 
quickly washed me ashore and saved me ; 
When I saw the bark was rotten, I leapt from it at once. 


Kabir, the saint is not pleasing to the sinner ; the latter 
cannot bear the worship of God ; 

The fly avoideth the sandal, and goeth where there is an 
evil odour. 


Kabir, the physician is dead, the patient is dead, the 
whole world is dead in spiritual ignorance ; 

One person alone, Kabir, for whom none shall weep is 
not dead. 


Kabir, man meditateth not on God ; such great sin 
attacheth to him : 


The body is a wooden pot ; it cannot be put on the fire 
a second time. 1 


Kabir, it so happened to me that God did what was 
pleasing to my mind ; 2 

Why fear death when thou hast taken the red lead 3 in 
thy hand ? 


Kabir, as one sucketh sugar-cane, so ought one to strive 
most earnestly 4 for virtue : 

None calleth that man good who is without virtue. 


Kabir, the body is like an earthen pot filled with water ; 
it will burst to-day or to-morrow : 

If thou remember not thy great God, thou shalt be 
plundered half-way. 5 


Kabir, I am God's dog ; Moti 6 is my name ; 
There is a string 7 on my neck ; where I am pulled there 
I go. 


Kabir, why displayest thou to men thy wooden rosary ? 
If thou remember not God in thy heart, what availeth 
this rosary ? 


Kabir, separation from God, like a serpent which yieldeth 
to no charm, dwelleth in the heart ; 

1 Human birth shall not be again obtained by those who meditate 
not on God. 

2 God admitted me to His service. 

3 That is, why fear death which is imminent and unavoidable ? 

4 Literally — to weep and die in one's efforts to obtain it. 

5 All the good works you have performed shall only help you half- 
way ; but, if you have meditated on God, you shall be saved. 

6 Moti — literally pearl —is a common Indian name for a favourite 

7 God's love. 



He who is separated from God shall not live, or if he do, 
he shall become insane. 1 


Kabir, the philosopher's stone and sandal have one good 
property in common ; 

By the touch of the former iron becometh the best metal ; 2 
by the touch of the latter inodorous wood is perfumed. 


Kabir, Death's club is bad ; it cannot be endured : 
I have met a holy man 3 and he hath attached me to his 


Kabir, the physician, saith, 'I am the only good 
physician ; all medicines are in my power ' : 

This thing life is God's property, He taketh it when He 


Kabir, take and beat thy drum for ten days ; 4 
This world is like the meeting on a river-boat of persons 
who shall never meet again. 5 


Kabir, were I to make the seven oceans my ink, the trees 
of the forest my pens, 

And the earth my paper, I should not succeed in writing 
God's praises. 


Kabir, what harm can my weaver caste do me since God 
dwelleth in my heart ? 

God hath embraced Kabir, and released him from all his 

1 The serpent shall sting him, and he shall either die or become 
insane. 2 Gold. 

3 Ramanand. 4 Be happy while you may. 

5 Compare — 

The world 's a city full of straying streets, 

And death the market-place where each one meets. 


Kabir, there are few willing to burn their own houses, 1 
Destroy their five children, 2 and concentrate their love 
on God. 


Kabir, there are few who will set fire to their own 
bodies ; 3 

Fools understand not though Kabir continueth to shout 
to them. 


Kabir, the sati mounted on the pyre crieth out 1 Hear 
my friends on this cremation-ground ; 
As people have all departed, so do we at last.' 


Kabir, the mind is a bird which flieth and flieth in every 
direction ; 

Man is rewarded according to the company he keepeth. 

Kabir, the position thou wast seeking thou hast found ; 
Thou hast changed into God whom thou thoughtest was 


Kabir, I am dying of evil company like the plantain near 
the wild caper ; 

The latter waveth and the former is pierced by its thorns, 
so avoid the apostate. 


Kabir, men 4 affect to travel with the burden of other 
men's sins on their heads ; 

Why fear they not the burden 6f their own, since the road 
in front of them is difficult to travel ? 

1 To mortify their flesh. 

2 The five evil passions as dear to men as their children. 

3 To subdue their concupiscence. 4 The Brahmans. 

U 2 



Kabir, a standing forest tree 1 which is burning calleth out — 
' May I not fall into the power of the smith 2 who would 
burn me again in his forge.'' 3 

One day Kabir was sitting on the bank of the 
Ganges. He saw a hunter who had shot a deer. The 
deer had two young ones in her womb. Both these 
died. The buck then came, and was also shot by the 
hunter. The latter went to pick up the animal and 
was mortally bitten by a snake. The hunter's wife 
then came and died through grief, or because the snake 
bit her too. Thus died four males and two females. 


Kabir, on the death of one two died ; on the death of 
two, four ; 

On the death of four, six died — four males and two 
females. 4 


Kabir hath seen and searched the world, but found no 
abiding place anywhere : 

Why doth he, who hath not thought of God's name, lose 
himself in other speculations ? 


Kabir, associate with the saint ; he will save thee at last ; 
Associate not with the infidel ; his company will be thy 


Kabir, knowing that God is everywhere diffused in the 
world, 5 I have remembered Him in this life ; 

1 The bod) 1 . 2 The god of death. 

3 That is, subject me to transmigration after the miseries of this life. 

4 This enigmatical couplet is thus explained — On the death of 
spiritual ignorance, superstition and attachment to worldly things die. 
When these two evils die, then die lust, anger, worldly love, and 
covetousness. When these four deadly sins die, then die birth and 
death (jointly called transmigration), joy, grief, hope, and desire. The 
first four are feminine, the last two are masculine. 

5 That is, not in the temple, or the mosque, or in any other place 
especially set apart for religious worship. 



They who have thought not of God's name, have been 
born in vain. 


Kabir, hope in God ; all other hope is hopeless : 
They who are bereft of God's name shall admit its power 
when they fall into hell. 


Kabir hath made many disciples and followers, but hath 
not made God his friend : 

He set out to meet God, but his heart failed him half- 


Kabir, what shall poor man do if God assist him not ? 
Whatever branch I put my foot on bendeth beneath me. 


Kabir, sand shall fall into the mouths of those who practise 
not what they preach to others ; 

They watch others' property, while their own fields are 
being eaten up. 


Kabir, associate with holy men even though thou eat 
only barley bran : 

What will be, will be ; associate not with the apostate 
even though he give thee better fare. 


Kabir, by association with the saints the love of God 
doubleth day by day : 

The infidel is like a black blanket ; he becometh not white 
by washing. 


Kabir, thou hast not shaved thy heart ; why shave thy 
hair ? 

Man's sins are the work of his heart ; shaving the head 
is out of place. 


Kabir, forsake not God ; if thy body and wealth must 
go, let them go. 


They whose hearts are devoted to God's lotus feet, shall 
be absorbed in His name. 


Kabir, the strings of the instrument we play upon are 
all broken ; 1 

What can the poor instrument do when the player 2 hath 
departed ? 


Kabir, shave the mother of that guru from whom doubt 
departeth not ; 

He is drowned himself in the four Veds and he drowneth 
his disciples therein. 


Kabir, man concealeth all the sins he committeth ; 
But at last they are all disclosed when Dharmraj maketh 
his inquiry. 


Kabir, ceasing to remember God thou hast reared a 
numerous family : 

Thou continuest to practise thine avocations though thy 
brethren and relations are no more. 3 


Kabir, the woman who ceasing to remember God goes 
to a wake at night 4 to practise witchcraft, 

Shall be born again as a serpent, and eat her own off- 
spring. 5 

1 The body has grown old, and its limbs have become useless. 

2 Life. 

3 That is, thou wilt not take warning by the fate of others. 

4 After the cremation of a corpse and before the bones are collected 
strangers go to the burning-place at night, and practise incantations 
with the object of retaining the ghost of the departed so as to be 
serviceable to them in their worldly objects. When the relatives of the 
departed know of the ceremony, they do not allow it. 

6 It is supposed that a female snake draws a circle round her eggs 
and then breaks them herself. The young snakes which can go out- 
side the circle are allowed to depart and live, but those not so able 
the mother is said to eat. 


Kabir, the woman who ceasing to remember God fasteth 
in honour of Hoi, 1 

Shall be born again as a donkey and carry a weight of 
four mans. 2 


Kabir, very great skill is required to utter God's name 
in the heart ; 

If the acrobat who performeth on the high pole fall, he 
cannot survive. 3 


Kabir, blest is his mouth who uttereth God's name ; 
His whole village shall be blest, to say nothing of the poor 
creature himself. 


Kabir, the family is fortunate in which a slave of God 
is born ; 

The family in which a slave of God is not born shall be 
fruitless as the dhak-tree. 


Kabir hath seen hundreds of thousands of horses, elephants, 
and carriages, and banners wave as thick as clouds — 

Begging, when the days pass in remembering God, is 
better than all this state. 


Kabir, I have traversed the whole world with my drum 
on my shoulder ; 

I have seen and carefully examined 4 everything, and / 
find no one hath a friend. 

1 Hoi is a representation of the goddess of small-pox. A festival is 
held by women in her honour in the month of Kartik, eight days before 
the Diwali. Unmarried women make clay images of her with the 
object of obtaining their desires. These images are thrown into 
water after the Diwali. In the Panjab Hoi is known as Sanjhi. 

2 At that time the man (maund) only weighed thirty-five pounds 
avoirdupois. At present it weighs eighty pounds. 

3 If man, having once entered the path of devotion deflect from it, 
he shall find no abiding place. 

4 Thok bajana is to clink a vessel with the middle finger to test its 



Kabir, pearls were scattered on the road ; a blind man 
came that way and saw them not ; 

Without the light of the Lord of the world everybody 
like the blind man passeth the pearls by. 

It is said that Kamal, Kabir's son, met a rich 
leper who was going in despair to drown himself in 
the Ganges. Kamal begged him to desist and 
promised to cure him. Kamal took up some Ganges 
water in the palm of his hand, breathed on it, 
repeated the name of God, and then threw the water 
on the leper. The latter was instantaneously cured. 
He rewarded Kamal with a large gift of money. In 
the following couplet Kabir censures his son for 
having accepted it : — 


Kabir's family was ruined when his son Kamal was born ; 
Ceasing to remember God he brought home wealth. 


Kabir, go to meet a holy man but take no one with thee ; 1 
Do not go back ; go on, come what may. 


Bind not thyself, O Kabir, with the rope 2 by which the 
world is bound ; 

As salt is lost in flour, so shall this gold-like body dis- 


Kabir, the soul shall fly away and the body be buried ; 
man knoweth not when his time shall come ; 3 

Yet even now he will not let covetousness escape from 
his eyes. 

1 That is, do not wait for a companion. It may also mean — take 
not with you a companion who may want you to change your mind, 
and turn back on the way. 2 Worldly love. 

3 Also translated — He expresses his wishes to his relations by signs. 




Kabir, may I behold Thee, 0 God, with mine eyes, hear 
Thy name with mine ears, 

Utter Thy name with my tongue, and put Thy lotus 
feet within my heart ! 


Kabir hath escaped from heaven and hell by the favour 
of the true guru ; 
I bask for ever and ever 1 in the joy of God's lotus feet. 


Kabir, say how can I guess the joy of God's lotus feet ; 
Their beauty cannot be described ; it can only be realized 
when seen. 


Kabir, even if I see them, to whom shall I describe them ? 
no one would be satisfied with my words ; 

God is His own parallel ; I dwell in the delight of singing 
His praises. 


Kabir, the kulang pecketh its food and at the same time 
remembereth its young ; it pecketh, and pecketh, and 
pecketh and remembereth its young ; 

As its young are dear to the kulang, so is worldly love to 
the mind. 


Kabir, the sky is overcast with clouds ; lakes and tanks 
are filled with rain-water ; 

Yet what shall be the condition of those who choose to 
remain thirsty as the chatrik ? 2 


Kabir, the sheldrake which at night is separated from 
her mate, meeteth him in the morning ; 

But the man who is separated from God meeteth Him 
again neither in the morning nor in the evening. 

1 Literally — in the beginning and the end. 

2 Those who accept not the teaching of holy men which is as 
plentiful as rain. 



Kabir, O shell, remain in the ocean ; if thou leave it, 
Thou shalt have to scream at sunrise at every temple. 1 


Kabir, what dost thou, 0 man, by sleeping ? arise and 
weep through fear of hell and its torments : 
How can he whose dwelling is in the grave sleep in peace ? 2 


Kabir, what dost thou by sleeping ? why not arise and 
repeat God's name ? 

One day thou shalt sleep stretched out at full length 
in the grave. 


Kabir, what dost thou by sleeping ? awake, arise ; 
Attach thyself to Him from whom thou art separated. 


Kabir, leave not the way of holy men, walk on their 
road ; 

Purify thyself by the sight of them, and repeat God's 
name on meeting them. 


Kabir, associate not with the infidel ; flee far away from 
him ; 

If thou touch a black pot, some filth shall attach to thee. 

Kabir, thou hast not thought of God, and old age hath 
come upon thee ; 

When the door of thy house is on fire, what can be taken 
out and saved ? 

1 That is, 0 man, remain absorbed in the contemplation of God, 
otherwise thou shalt have to undergo many births. At Hindu temples 
it is a custom to blow shells in the morning to summon worshippers. 

2 Unless we have repented before death. 


Kabir, the work which the Creator did was accomplished 
once for all. 
There is no God but Him, the one Creator. 


Kabir, when the fruit trees begin to bear fruit, and the 
mango beginneth to ripen, 

The fruit reacheth its owner if meantime the crows 1 
have not eaten it. 


Kabir, men purchase and worship an idol, and obstinately 
go on pilgrimages ; 

Like actors they imitate one another, but they only err 
and lose their way. 


Kabir, men have turned a stone into God ; everybody 
worshippeth it ; 

They who abide in this belief are drowned in the sable 


Kabir, books 2 form a prison, the doors of which are the 
writing thereon : 

Stones 3 have drowned the world ; pandits have pillaged 
the road. 


Kabir, do now the work of to-morrow ; and if thou do 
it now, do it at once ; 

Nothing can be done hereafter when Death standeth over 
thy head. 

1 If the evil passions of men do not mar their good works, they 
shall reach God. Kanb is also an insect which destroys fruit. The 
meaning of the slok is — Man may perform penance and many acts of 
worship, but all will be unavailing if there be a flaw in his devotion, 
if his heart be not right. 

2 The writings in which idolatry and pilgrimages are prescribed. 

3 Idol worship. 



Kabir, I have seen such and such a person polished like 
wax ; 1 

He appeareth quick and very virtuous, but he is without 
understanding and unholy. 


Kabir, Death will not disgrace mine understanding 2 
Since I have repeated the name of the Cherisher who 
created him. 


Kabir, God is as musk ; all His saints are as the bumble- 
bees around it : 

The more Kabir's service, the more God dwelleth in his 


Kabir, man falleth into the clutches of family ; God is 
left in the background : 

Dharmraj's myrmidons fall on man in the midst of his 


Kabir, better than an infidel is a pig 3 which keepeth the 
village clean ; 

When the poor infidel dieth, nobody will mention him. 


Kabir, men have amassed hundreds of thousands and 
millions, kauri by kauri ; 

But when departing they get nothing ; even their waist- 
cloths are taken from them. 


Kabir, were one to be a follower of Vishnu and wear 
a beautiful 4 necklace, what would it avail him ? 

1 Bracelets made of white wax are worn by women. They are 
showy but unsubstantial. 

2 That is, he will do as I request him. 

3 He is the village scavenger, and is remembered when the poor 
infidel is forgotten. 

4 Also translated— four necklaces as some followers of Vishnu 



He may be externally gold twelve times purified, but 
within he is only stuffed with wax. 


Kabir, become the broken stones of the road ; lay aside 
thine intellectual pride ; 

If such a servant there be, he shall meet God 


Kabir, but what would it avail to be the broken stones ? 
they would hurt the traveller's feet ; 

0 God, Thy servant should be as the dust of the earth. 1 


Kabir, but what would it avail to be dust which flieth 
and falleth on men's bodies ? 

The servant of God ought to be like water which cleanseth 
all the limbs. 2 


Kabir, but what would it avail to be water ? it becometh 
cold or hot according to the season ; 

Every servant of God ought to be perfect like God Himself. 


Flags wave on tne tops of lofty mansions full of gold 
and of women — 

Better than all are the bread of alms 3 and singing God's 
praises in the company of His saints. 


Kabir, the wilderness where God is worshipped is better 
than a city ; 

The place without the beloved God is in my opinion as 
the city of Death. 

1 Which is soft, and hurts not the traveller's feet. 

2 When soiled by the dust. 

3 Madhukari. This word is derived from the Sanskrit madhukar, 
the bee which extracts honey from every flower. 



At the ferry of Sahajsun where the Ganges and the 
Jamna meet, 1 

Kabir hath built a hut where saints and men of God 
seek the way. 


Kabir, were man to continue to the end loving God 2 as he 
was born, 

Millions of precious stones, to say nothing of one poor 
diamond, would not be equal to him. 


Kabir, I have seen a strange thing — a diamond was sold 
in a shop ; 

In the absence of a purchaser who knew its worth, it went 
for a kauri. 3 


Kabir, where there is divine knowledge there is virtue ; 
where there is falsehood there is sin ; 

Where there is covetousness there is death ; where there 
is forgiveness there is God Himself. 


Kabir, what availeth it to abandon worldly love if pride 
be not also abandoned ? 

Munis and their spiritual superiors perished by pride ; 
their pride ate them all up. 


Kabir, a true guru met me and shot one word at me ; 
When it struck me I fell to the earth ; there was a hole 
made in my heart. 

1 The gyanis generally translate this — In the sukhmana where the 
breath of the left and right nostrils meet. 

2 The belief is that the foetus in the womb prays to God, but 
when a child is born and brought into contact with the world, his 
devotion fails. 

3 Divine grace so priceless was spurned by the common herd, and 
only valued at a kauri. 




Kabir, what can the true guru do if his disciples be at 
fault ? 

Not one word of his impresseth the spiritually blind : it 
is like blowing into a bamboo. 


Kabir, the lady of a monarch who possesseth horses, 
elephants, and carriages in abundance, 

Is not equal to the female water-carrier of a saint of God. 


Q, 0 Kabir, why revilest thou the king's lady ? Why 
honourest thou God's handmaiden ? 

A . The former parteth her hair with evil intentions ; the 
latter remembereth God's name. 


Kabir, I propped myself up with God's name, and steadied 
myself ; the true guru gave me courage : 

I purchased large diamonds on the bank of lake Man- 


Kabir, God is the diamond, God's servant the jeweller 
who hath taken the gem and set up a shop for it ; 

As soon as an assayer is found, the price of the diamond 
shall be ascertained. 


Kabir, as thou rememberest God when occasion requireth, 
so remember Him always ; 

Make thine abode in the immortal city ; God will restore 
the wealth thou hast lost. 


Kabir, for worship two beings are necessary, one the 
saint, and the other God — 

God who bestoweth salvation, and the saint who causeth 
us to repeat His name. 



Kabir, crowds followed the pandits by the way they went ; 
The one road to God by which Kabir hath been ascending 
is difficult. 


Kabir, man acteth out of regard for his family and thus 
dieth from worldly troubles ; 

Who hath family pride when he is placed on the cremation- 
ground ? 


Kabir, O wretched people, ye shall be ruined through 
your great regard for the opinion of others ; 

Know that the fate of your neighbours shall also be yours. 


Kabir, good is the meal of alms made of different kinds 1 
of corn ; 

I have no claim on any one for it ; great is the country 
and great its government. 2 


Kabir, heart-burning ariseth from claims ; he who hath 
no claim is without anxiety ; 

He who hath no claim deemeth Indar poor in comparison 
with himself. 


Kabir, the lake is filled to the brim, yet few can drink 
the water ; 3 

With great good fortune hast thou found it ; drink it 
in handfuls, Kabir. 

1 And thus affording variety. 

2 That is, the world is wide, and great is the empire of the holy. 
The words dawa hahu ho nahin are also translated — To which no one 
hath a claim. 

3 The saints are filled with holiness, yet few accept instruction from 
them. The verse is also translated — The lake is full, but there is a 
dike in front owing to which few can drink the water. The dike means 
worldly love, which hinders men from having recourse to the guru. 


Kabir, as the stars pass away in the morning, so doth 
this body pass away ; 

But the two letters of God's name pass not away ; Kabir 
holdeth them fast. 


Kabir, the house of wood is on fire on all sides ; 1 

The pandits perish in the fire while the illiterate escape. 


Kabir, dispel doubts, leave the books of the pandits ; 
Having searched the Sanskrit books fix thy thoughts on 
God's feet. 


Kabir, saints abandon not their saintship, even though 
they meet millions who are not saints : 

Even though sandal be entwined with serpents, it loseth 
not its coolness. 2 


Kabir, the mind becometh cool when it hath obtained 
the knowledge of God : 

The fire which burneth the world is as water to God's 
servant. 3 


This world is the Creator's play ; hardly any one under- 
standeth this ; 

The Master Himself or the slave at His court* under- 
standeth it. 


Kabir, it is well for me that I felt the fear of God and 
forgot all else : 

1 That is, evil passions assail the body. 

2 As poisonous serpents have no effect on sandal-wood, so the evil 
do not corrupt the holy. 

3 The evil passions which inflame mankind produce no impression 
on him. 

4 Diwani may also mean divine enthusiast deemed mad by the 



From hail I melted into water, and flowing on I blended 
with the Ocean. 1 


Kabir, God having collected dust made bodies like a 
physician's powders — 
Spectacles for four days, but after all they are only dust. 


Kabir, all bodies are as the rising and setting of the sun 
and moon ; 2 

But if they meet not God and the guru, they all turn 
into dust again. 


Where the Fearless One is, there is no fear of others ; 
where there is fear, there God is not : 

Kabir speaketh thus deliberately ; 0 saints, give me 
willing ear. 


Kabir, they who know naught pass their time in the 
sleep of peace : 

While they who think they know have their fill of trouble. 


Kabir, they who are subdued by worldly love utter many 
cries, but different is the cry of the pir : 3 

Kabir who was struck on a vulnerable spot 4 fell where 
he stood. 


Kabir, slight is the stroke of a lance ; though struck by 
it man may breathe for a time ; 

But he who can endure the stroke of the Word is a guru, 5 
and I am his slave. 

1 Kabir's heart was at first cold and hard as hail. When the fire of 
divine love shone on it, it melted into water, which, flowing on, blended 
with the ocean of God. 

2 Animals' bodies are born and die. 

3 Also translated — Many cry out that they are struck by God's love, 
but the pain they exhibit tells a different story. The word pir has two 
meanings: (a) a priest or saint ; (£)pain. 

4 That is, the heart. 5 It can only be endured by a guru. 




Kabir, why, O Mulla, ascendest thou the minaret ? the 
Lord is not deaf : 

Search within thy heart for Him for whose sake thou 
callest to prayer. 


Why doth the Shaikh who is without resignation, perform 
a pilgrimage to the Kaaba ? 

Kabir, how can God be for him whose heart is not firm 
in his faith ? 


Kabir, offer thy homage to God, by remembering whom 
trouble shall depart ; 

The Lord will be manifest in thy heart, and the fire 1 
which burneth thee shall be extinguished. 


Kabir, to use force is tyranny though thou call it lawful ; 
When thine accounts are called for at God's office, what 
shall be thy condition ? 


Kabir, an excellent dinner is khichari 2 seasoned with 
sufficient salt to make it palatable ; 

Who would cut his own throat by eating meat with his 
bread ? 3 


Kabir, know that the guru will have touched thy heart 
when worldly love and ambition have been effaced ; 

Joy and sorrow shall not then affect thee ; thou shalt 
become God Himself. 4 


Kabir, there are different ways of saying Ram ; 5 there 
is one point to be considered : 

1 Some read nai and translate — The fire of thy heart shall be 
extinguished by God's name. 2 Rice and dal boiled together. 

3 Kabir was a vegetarian, and objected to the slaughter of animals. 

4 Thu shalt have no consciousness of existence distinct from God. 

5 Ram is the name of God throughout Kabir and the other Bhagats' 



He whom everybody calleth Ram was only a mounte- 
bank. 1 


Kabir, call Him Ram who is omnipresent ; we must 
discriminate in mentioning the two Rams ; 

The one Ram (God) is contained in all things ; the other 
(Ram Chandar) is only contained in one thing, himself. 2 


Kabir, in the house in which saints are not served God 
is not served ; 

That house is like a cremation-ground, and ghosts dwell 


Kabir, I have become dumb, insane, deaf, 

And lame from the stroke of the true guru's arrow. 


Kabir, the brave true guru shot an arrow at me ; 
On its striking me I fell to the ground with a hole in my 
heart. 3 


Kabir, the pure rain of heaven 4 hath fallen on barren 
soil ; 

compositions. Sometimes Har, Hari, Gobind, and other names are 
used, but it is understood that the reference is always to the Supreme 
God, the Lord of creation. 

1 Although in some of their hymns Kabir and some of the other 
Bhagats of the Granth Sahib appear to have believed in the Hindu 
incarnations, they occasionally ridiculed them. 

2 Some Sikhs translate this and the preceding slok as follows : — 


Kabir, there are different ways of uttering Ram ; in this there is an 
important point. 

People in general utter Ram one way, and the saints another way. 


Kabir, utter Ram, Ram, but use discrimination in uttering it. 
Some while doing so are engaged in their various pursuits while 
others are absorbed in the one God. 
a That is, the guru's exhortation made an impression on my heart. 
4 The true guru's instruction. 


Know that without good association it becometh like the 
ashes of a furnace ; 


But, Kabir, when the pure rain of heaven meeteth absorb- 
ing soil, 1 

It cannot be removed, however much clever men may 
worry themselves. 


Kabir, I was going on a pilgrimage to the Kaaba, and 
I met God on the way ; 

The Lord fell a-quarrelling with me, ' Who ordered thee 
to go to that place ? ' 


Kabir, I have often made the pilgrimage to the Kaaba — 
how many times, 0 Kabir ? 

0 my Master, what fault have I committed that Thou 
wilt not speak to me ? 


Kabir, when God produceth His record, what shall be 
the fate of him 
Who violently killeth animals and calleth it lawful ? 


Kabir, to use violence is tyranny ; God will call for thy 
defence ; 

When thine account is produced from His office, thou 
shalt be beaten on the mouth. 


Kabir, to render thine account is easy, if thy heart be pure ; 
In that True Court no one shall molest thee. 2 


Saith Kabir, 0 duality, in earth and heaven thou art 
very difficult to destroy ; 3 

1 When the guru's instruction is communicated to men capable of 
receiving it. 2 Literally — catch thee by the coat. 

3 If tubari be read as one word, the translation will be— In earth 
and heaven there are two beggar's bowls — desire and covetousness — 
difficult to destroy. 


The six religious systems and the eighty-four Sidhs are 
involved in doubt. 


Kabir, whatever there is in me is not mine ; whatever 
there is, is Thine, 0 God. 

If Thine own property be rendered unto Thee, what doth 
it cost me ? 


Kabir, by repeating, ' Thou, Thou,' I have become Thou, 
0 God ; I have not remained in myself ; 

When the difference between Thee and me was removed, 
wherever I looked there wast Thou. 


Kabir, man meditateth sin and entertaineth delusive 
hopes ; 

None of his desires is satisfied ; he departeth in despair. 


Kabir, he who remembereth God is happy in this world ; 
He whom the Creator protecteth wavereth not either in 
this world or the next. 


Kabir, I was being pressed like a handful of sesame when 
the true guru rescued me ; 

He came and appeared to me by primal and ancient 


Kabir, my days have been spent in evading payment of 
my debts to God ; interest goeth on increasing ; 

I worshipped not God, nor had I my account torn up 
when Death arrived. 

Guru Arjan has here inserted the three following 
couplets : — 


Kabir, man is a barking dog which runneth after carrion : 1 
By grace I have obtained the true guru who hath delivered 

1 Literally — a skeleton. 


Kabir, the earth belongeth to the holy, but thieves have 
taken possession of it ; 

The earth feeleth not their weight ; to them it is clear 
gain. 1 


Kabir, on account of the husk rice is beaten with a mallet ; 
So when men sit in bad company, Dharmraj shall call them 
to account. 

Here Kabir's couplets continue : — 


' O Namdev, worldly love hath bewitched thee' said his 
friend Trilochan ; 

' Why printest thou chintzes and thinkest not on God ? ' 


Namdev replied, ' Repeat God's name with thy lips, 0 

' Perform all thy duties with thy hands and feet, but let 
thy heart be with God.' 

Guru Arjan again interposes : — 


0 Kabir, no one hath any concern with me nor I with 
any one ; 

1 am contained in Him who hath created this world. 
Kabir's instructions are resumed : — 


Kabir,' when flour hath fallen into the mud, none of it 
is saved ; 

It is that which is chewed while being ground that 
availeth. 2 

1 In this line Mbharan be read as one word, ihe translaiion will be — 
The earth feeleih their weight ; 0 God, remove them. 

2 Human life is the time for man to work out his salvation. It is 
too late when the soul has departed. 



Kabir, man knoweth everything, and yet he knowingly 
committeth sin ; 

What advantage is it to a man to have a lamp in his 
hand if he fall into a well ? 


Kabir, my love is for the Friend ; foolish people try to 
dissuade me ; 

How can it be proper to break with Him to whom belong 
my life and soul ? 


Kabir, why killest thou thyself on account of houses, and 
mansions, and their decoration, 

When three and a half cubits, or at most three and three 
quarters, shall be thy lot ? 


Kabir, if God do not what I desire, what availeth my 
desiring it ; 

God doeth what He Himself desireth, not what I desire. 

The following couplet of Guru Amar Das, is here 
found : — 


God produceth anxiety in man, and also freeth him 
therefrom ; 

Nanak, praise Him who taketh care of all. 

A couplet of Guru Arjan here follows : — 


Kabir, man thinketh not of God ; he goeth astray through 
greed ; 

He dieth committing sin, and his life is at an end in 
a moment. 

Here Kabir's couplets continue : — 


Kabir, the body is a frail vessel of only frail metal ; 



If thou wish to make it permanent, worship God, other- 
wise it will perish. 


Kabir, call out the name of God ; sleep not listlessly ; 
By calling out night and day God may sometime hear 
thy cries. 


Kabir, the body is a plantain grove, the heart an elephant 
maddened by passion, which breaketh it down ; 

The jewel of divine knowledge is the goad, and a rare 
saint the tamer 1 of the elephant. 


Kabir, God's name is a jewel, the mouth a purse to hold 
it ; open it before him who can appreciate the jewel ; 

If any purchaser be found, he may take it at a high 
price. 2 


Kabir, man knoweth not God's name while bringing up 
a numerous family ; 

He dieth in the midst of his worldly duties, and is not 
heard of in the outer world. 


Kabir, in the twinkling of an eye and in a moment life 
passeth away ; 

Since the mind freeth not itself from entanglements, 
Death beateth his drum, and leadeth away his victim in 


Kabir, God is as a tree, abandonment of the world as its 
fruit ; 

The saint who hath abandoned bootless discussions 3 as its 

1 Khewai, literally — the pilot who steers the elephant. 

2 He may even give his life for it. 

3 The saint, like a tree's shade, affords comfort to man. 



Kabir, plant the seed of such a tree as shall bear perennial 

Whose shade shall be cool, whose fruit shall be profuse, 
and on which birds 1 shall play. 


Kabir, the Giver is a tree whose fruit is mercy which 
sheddeth favours on men ; 

When the birds which it sheltereth migrate, 2 they say 
' O Tree, mayest thou be fruitful ! ' 


Kabir, association with saints is obtained by destiny ; 
By such association the boon of salvation is obtained, 
and the difficult road to God not obstructed. 


Kabir, even for a ghari, half a ghari, or half that again, 
Converse held with the saints is clear gain. 


Kabir, the mortals who eat bhang and fish 3 and drink 

Shall all go to hell, whatever pilgrimages, fastings, and 
daily devotion they may perform. 


Kabir, if I cast down mine eyes and take the Friend into 
my heart, 

I enjoy every pleasure with my Beloved, and I disclose 
this to no one. 

The fifth Guru here interposes : — 

1 Holy men. 

2 The saints wander abroad to blazon Gods goodness. 

3 In KabTr's time the Banaras pandits used to partake largely 
of fish. 




For the eight watches, the sixty-four gharis of the day, 
my soul looketh towards Thee, O God. 

Why cast down mine eyes since I behold the Beloved 
in every heart ? 


Hear, my companions, either my soul dwelleth in my 
Beloved or my Beloved in my soul. 

I know not whether my soul is in my heart, or my Beloved 
dwelleth in my soul. 


Kabir, the Brahman is the guru of the world, but he is 
not the guru of the saints ; 

He killeth himself over the perplexities of the four Veds. 


God is as sugar scattered in the sand, but the elephant 
cannot pick it up ; 

Saith Kabir, the guru gave this excellent advice, ' Become 
an ant and eat it.' 1 


Kabir, if thou desire the Beloved, cut off thy head and 
make it into a ball ; 2 

While playing attain such a state of ecstasy that thou 
shalt be satisfied with whatever happeneth thee. 


Kabir, if thou desire the Beloved, play with a true guru ; 
If unripe oil-seeds be pressed, neither oil-cake nor oil will 
be obtained. 3 

Here a couplet of Namdev is introduced : — 

1 The humble succeed where the proud fail. 

2 Such is the sacrifice that must be made to enable man to play 
with the saints, and share in their bliss. 

3 Nothing can be obtained from a false guru's instruction. 



Man searching for God stumbleth like a blind man and 
recognizeth not the saint ; 

Saith Namdev, how shalt thou obtain God without the 
mediation of His saints ? 

The following lines of Rav Das are here inserted : — 


He who forsaking God the diamond yearneth for other 

Shall go to hell, verily saith Rav Das. 


O Kabir, if thou embrace a domestic life, act honestly ; 
otherwise abandon the world ; 

But if any one, having abandoned the world, again 
become entangled with it, great indeed shall be his mis- 


Rav Das is the author of many hymns in the 
Granth Sahib. He was certainly a disciple of Rama- 
nand and a contemporary of Kabir, but otherwise 
there is nothing known regarding his precise date, 
parentage, or place of birth. When Rav Das arrived 
at years of discretion he began to wait on saints. 
He used to present them with everything he could 
procure from his father's house. His father was 
displeased at this and gave him a separate place of 
residence. Though his father's wealth and means 
were considerable, yet he gave nothing whatever to 
his son. The latter, who by this time had entered 
the married state, supported himself and his wife 
by making shoes, and lived very happily. Whenever 
he saw a holy man he supplied him gratuitously 
with covering for his feet. He afterwards built 
a hut, set up in it an idol which he had made from 



a hide, and applied himself to its worship. When he 
was reproached for making an idol out of a hide, he 
defended himself by descanting on the various advan- 
tages of hides. Drums used in worship were made from 
hides. The cow held sacred by Hindus had a hide. 
God is contained in animals which have hides, &c, &c. 

Rav Das was ever immersed in his devotions, 
a circumstance which led to the abandonment of his 
trade and the deterioration of his circumstances. 
He soon presented all the external marks of poverty 
and hard life, yet his heart was glad and happy in the 
contemplation of God. It was during this period of 
distress that a holy man desired to render him assist- 
ance. Rav Das gave him bread to eat and lavished 
every attention on him. His visitor in return pre- 
sented him with a philosopher's stone, explained its 
qualities, and told him to keep it carefully. Rav Das 
replied that he did not require it, as his property 
and wealth consisted in the name of God. When 
the visitor saw that Rav Das absolutely coveted 
nothing, he implored him to accept the philosopher's 
stone. Rav Das told him he might leave it in the 
thatch of his house, by which he meant that the 
article was not worth acceptance. The visitor 
obeyed Rav Das and departed. On that occasion 
Rav Das composed the following hymn : — 

God's name is the great wealth of God's saints ; 

Day by day it increaseth and in no way decreaseth. 

Nothing can steal it either by day or night ; its possessor 
sleepeth secure in his home. 

0 God, what need of a stone hath he who possesseth 
this wealth ? 

After the lapse of thirteen months the visitor 
returned and found Rav Das in the same circum- 
stances as before. He asked him what had become 
of the philosopher's stone. Rav Das replied, ' It 
must be where thou didst put it ; I have been afraid 
to touch it.' Upon this the visitor took it from the 


thatch and departed, fully satisfied that Rav Das 
desired no earthly wealth. 

One day the saint found five gold coins in 
a basket employed to hold accessories of worship. 
The result was that he began to fear even devotion 
to God, lest it might bring him wealth. Then God 
said to him in a vision, ' Although thou absolutely 
desirest nothing, yet accept the wealth I give thee 
now.' Rav Das promised to do so. A pious admirer 
gave him money with which he built a sara, or rest- 
house, wherein he entertained holy men. He then 
built a temple and so decorated it with a canopy, 
fringes, cords of gold lace, wall lamps, chandeliers, 
&c, that visitors on seeing its beauty became en- 
chanted. After that Rav Das built a two-storied 
house for himself on the site of the hut he had 
hitherto used as a temple, and there he continued 
to worship with perfect love. 

Rav Das experienced the ordinary fate of men 
suddenly enriched. The Brahmans, through envy 
and jealousy, complained to the king of Banaras 
that there was no authority in the Shastars for 
a shoemaker to make an image of God, yet Rav Das 
had without any fear or compunction set up such an 
image and was worshipping it and offering it homage. 
He ought therefore to be made to suffer for his pre- 
sumption. The king summoned Rav Das, but was 
so much impressed with the dignity and reasonable- 
ness of his defence that he found no difficulty in 
immediately declaring him guiltless of any offence 
against religion. 

Jhali, the Queen of Chitaur, hearing of Rav Das's 
fame, visited him and became a disciple of his. At 
this her attendant Brahmans waxed highly indignant. 
They said that the queen had lost her reason, and 
they went and complained of her to the Rana, her 
husband, who had accompanied her to Banaras. He 
sent for Rav Das, and heard the charges of the 
assembled Brahmans against him. They repre- 



sented the supreme importance of caste, and the 
impropriety of allowing a shoemaker to usurp a 
higher spiritual or social position than that in which 
he had been born. Rav Das replied, ' What is dear 
to God is devotion ; He payeth no heed to caste.' 
Upon this the Brahmans proposed to refer the matter 
to the arbitrament of prayer. They read the Veds 
for three full hours and repeated many spells, but 
did not succeed in inducing God to persuade the 
Rana of Rav Das's guilt. When it came to Rav 
Das's turn, he said, ' O Great King, be true to thy 
name of Pardoner of sinners.' He then sang a couple 
of stanzas. The first line of the first stanza is : — 

O come without delay or call me unto Thee. 
The first lines of the second stanza are :— 

O God of gods, I Thy protection crave ; 
Have mercy on me, knowing me Thy slave. 

The Rana was easily convinced of Rav Das's 
innocence and expressed himself accordingly. Upon 
this it is said all present became believers in Rav 
Das's sanctity. 

After that Queen Jhali left Banaras,and returned to 
her kingdom, where she decided on holding a thanks- 
giving festival. With great modesty and humility 
she invited Rav Das to be pleased to attend it. He 
accepted her invitation and went to Chitaur. His 
visit afforded her intense pleasure. She distributed 
a large sum of money in alms on the occasion, and 
invited the principal Brahmans of her state to meet 
the holy man. The Brahmans knew that the queen's 
guru had been a shoemaker, and it would be better 
for them to take raw provisions of their own and 
cook them than partake of food proffered by the 
queen. They accordingly had food cooked for them- 
selves, but, when they sat down to eat it, it is said, 
tney saw Rav Das seated between every two of 
them. They then believed in his divine mission and 
fell at his feet. It is stated that he gained many 


disciples on that occasion. Rav Das composed the 
following after the entertainment : — 

Clever men, 1 I am notoriously a tanner by caste, 
But in my heart I meditate on God. 

If wine be made even with Ganges water, you holy men 
will not drink it ; 

But if wine which is impure, or other liquid be put into 
Ganges water, the latter will not be altered. 2 

The palmyra palm-tree, sirs, is admittedly impure, 3 as its 
leaves 4 are also deemed ; 

But if God's words be written thereon, men will worship 
it and bow before it. 

My trade is dressing and cutting leather and daily remov- 
ing dead cattle round about Banaras. 

Yet prominent Brahmans now prostrate themselves before 
me, since I, the slave Rav Das, have sought the shelter of Thy 
name, 0 God. 

Rav Das is said to have been such a perfect saint 
of God that his conversation and poetry were like 
suns to dispel the darkness of doubt and infidelity. 
He performed the meritorious acts prescribed in the 
Veds and the Shastars. Orientals believe that if 
milk mixed with water be placed before a swan, it 
can by its peculiar bill separate both, and drink only 
the milk. In the same way Rav Das selected virtue 
from vice, made choice of good acts and avoided 
things forbidden. 

The following compositions of Rav Das are found 
in the Granth Sahib : 

1 Nagar jan, also translated — Ye city men. 

2 If a man, no matter how highly born, become evil, he is not 
respected, as wine made with Ganges water is not fit for saints' use. 
But if, on the contrary, wine be thrown into the Ganges, the Ganges 
water will still be holy, so the lowly are exalted by association with 

3 Because toddy, an intoxicating liquor, is made out of it. 

4 Kagara, hence kaghaz, the modern Hindustani name for paper. 
The leaves of the palm or palmyra-tree were originally used for 
writing on. 



God being light and the soul also light, there is 
no difference between them except that the soul is 
encumbered with a body. 

Sri Rag 

Between Thee and me, between me and Thee what 
difference can there be ? 

The same as between gold and the bracelet, between 
water and its ripples. 

If I did not commit sin, O Eternal One, 

How shouldst Thou have gained the name of Purifier of 
sinners ? 

Thou who art the Lord, art the Searcher of hearts : 

The servant is known from his master, and the master 
from his servant. 

Grant me the wisdom to worship Thee with my body. 

Rav Das, some rare person who destroyeth his evil 
passions, 1 may explain this. 

Though Rav Das's birth is low, he is a candidate 
for God's favour. 


My associations are low — I think of it day and night — 
My birth is mean, mine acts are crooked. 

0 God, Lord of the earth, Giver of life to men, 
Forget me not, I am Thy slave ; 

Remove my troubles, make Thy servant full of love for 

1 will not forsake Thy feet even though my body perish 

Saith Rav Das, I seek Thy protection, 0 God. 
Quickly come to Thy servant, delay not. 

1 The gyanis translate — Some rare person may explain that God 
is equally contained in everything. 



Rav Das's conception of heaven. 


There is a city named Beghampur, 1 

Where pain, and sorrow find no place ; 

There is no fear of tribute or of tax ; 

There is nor care, nor sin, nor dread nor death, 

Now have I found an excellent abode 

Where ceaseless happiness doth reign, my friends. 

There firm and for aye is sovereignty of God, 

No second or third is there adored, 2 He ruleth alone ; 

Inhabited and ever famous is that city ; 

Its people are full dowered with wealth. 

Theirs it is to wander as they please ; 

None restraineth them known in the palace, 

Saith Rav Das, emancipated tanner, 

My friends become my fellow citizens there. 3 

It is said that a Labana offered an ox to Rav Das. 
On refusing the present, the saint wrote the fol- 
lowing : — 


The road to God is very difficult and steep, and I have 
already one useless ox. 4 

My one prayer to God is, ' Preserve my capital, 5 O God.' 

Is there any merchant of God who will join me ? My 
goods are laden and about to start. 6 

I am a merchant of God, and deal in divine knowledge. 

The wealth I have loaded is God's name ; the world 
hath loaded poison. 

1 A city where there is no sorrow. This is not Begampur, a village 
on the left bank of the Bhima, so called because one of Aurangzeb's 
daughters died and was buried there, while her father was encamped 
at Brahmapuri on the opposite side of the river. 

2 That is, no Vishnu or Shiv. 

3 That is, they whose lives fit them for that abode are my friends ; 
and obtain salvation. 

4 My body. 6 That is, my life. 

0 That is, I am prepared to give religious instruction to whoever 
will join me. 


Ye recording angels, who know this world and the next, 
write whatever nonsense you please about me, I care not ; 

The club of death will not touch me since I have cast 
away all entanglements. 

This world is like the fleeting colour of safflower, 

But the colour of my God is the permanent dye of madder, 
saith the tanner Rav Das. 

Rav Das prays for divine favour. 


As a pit full of frogs 1 which know nothing of different 

So my mind infatuated with evil passions taketh no 
thought of this world or the next. 

O Lord of all the world, grant me a sight of Thee for 
a moment ; 

My mind is not clear, 0 God, and so I cannot understand 
Thy condition. 

Take pity on me that my doubts may be dispelled, and 
teach me right understanding. 

Even supreme Jogis cannot explain Thine attributes which 
are beyond expression. 

The tanner Rav Das prayeth for Thy love and service. 

The following was Rav Das's reply to a holy man 
who asked the questions contained in the hymn. 


In the Sat age was truth, in the Treta sacrifice, and in 
the Dwapar the performance of worship. 

In the three ages these three observances were established, 
but in the Kal age the Name is the only support. 

How shall I be saved ? 

No one explaineth to me 

How my transmigration may cease. 

There are many forms of religion described, but every- 
one appeareth to adopt his own. 

What are those acts by which I may be saved, and by 
the performance of which I may obtain all things ? 

1 ' Frog in a well ' is applied in Hindustani to an ignorant person. 

Y 2 


If what are merits and what demerits be decided by 
listening to the Veds and Purans, 1 doubt shall result ; 

Doubt shall thus ever dwell in the heart ; who shall 
dispel pride ? 

Man washeth his body with water, but in his heart there 
is evil of every description. 

How shall purity result ? My purity is such as the elephant 

As by the sun's light night departeth, as all the world 
knoweth ; 

As copper when touched by the philosopher's stone at 
once becometh gold ; 

So if the supreme philosopher's stone, the guru, be found 
by destiny, 

The perturbed mind shall meet God who is in the heart, 
and the doors of adamant shall be opened. 2 

The doubts, the entanglements, and the sins of him who 
maketh the way of devotion firm in his heart shall be cut 
away ; 

He shall restrain his mind, obtain happiness, and meditate 
on Him alone who possesseth all qualities and yet possesseth 

Many efforts have I made to ward off the noose of doubt, 
but, however much I tried, I did not succeed. 

Love and devotion have not sprung up in me, therefore 
Rav Das is sad. 

Man is a prey to all the five senses and their 
attendant passions, and not to one predominating 
and overmastering sense alone like the lower 
animals. Hence the following hymn :— 


The deer, the fish, the bumble-bee, the moth, and the 
elephant perish each for one sense ; 

So what hope is there for him who like man hath five im- 
placable enemies ? 

1 The Veds and Purans prescribe different forms of worship. 

2 Hardness of heart shall depart. 


O God, man loveth ignorance ; 

His lamp of discrimination hath grown dim. 

The thoughtless are born again as creeping things which 
distinguish not between good and evil ; 

They have now obtained human birth so difficult to 
obtain, and yet in it they associate with the base. 

Men and lower animals, wherever they are, are born 
subject to their previous acts, 

And the noose of Death which hangeth over them can 
by no means be warded off. 

Rav Das, renounce worldly love, dispel doubt, and make 
the guru's divine knowledge thy religious fervour. 

0 Thou, who dispellest Thy worshipper's fear, grant me 
supreme bliss at last. 

Rav Das prays for the saints' virtues and devotion 


The company of the saints, who are Thine image, is my life. 

Through the divine knowledge of the guru I recognize 
the saints as gods of gods. 

Grant me the company of the saints, a taste for the 
saints' converse, 

The saints' love, O God of gods, 

The saints' good works, and the saints' way, that I may 
become attached to what they are attached. 1 

1 pray for one thing more, the miraculous gem of devo- 
tion. 2 

Show me not the wicked and the sinner — 

Between the saints and the Infinite there is no difference ; 

Rav Das saith, he who knoweth this is wise. 

Rav Das is exalted by holy association. 


Thou art sandal, I am the poor palma christi 3 plant, 
I dwell near Thee : 

1 Some read olag olagni, and translate— That I may become their 
slave of slaves. 

2 Chinldmani, a gem supposed to yield its possessor whatever he 
desired. In England the wishing-cap was said to possess the same 
virtue. 3 This is the Ricinus communis, or castor-oil plant. 


From a humble shrub I have become a lofty tree : Thine 
excellent perfume abideth in me. 

0 God, I have sought the protection of Thy true con- 

1 am without virtues, Thou art beneficent, 

Thou art white 1 and yellow twisted silk ; we are the 
poor worms 2 who toil and make it. 

0 God, may I continue to associate with the saints as 
the bee with the honey ! 

My caste is low, my lineage low, and low is my birth ; 

1 have not served my sovereign God, saith the tanner 
Rav Das. 

For God's love Rav Das would sacrifice himself. 


What would it matter were my body to be cut in pieces ? 

Thy slave, 0 God, only feareth that Thy love may depart : 

Thy lotus feet are the home of my heart ! 3 

By drinking the nectar of His name, I have found God 
who is my wealth. 

Prosperity, adversity, worldly love, and wealth screen 
God from man ; 

In them Thy servant is not absorbed. 

Thy slave is bound by the rope of Thy love ; 

Saith Rav Das, what advantage is it to escape there- 
from ? 

God's name saves saints and sinners. 


God, God, God, God, God, God, God ; 4 

By remembering God, saints and sinners 5 are saved. 

1 Makhliil, from the Arabic maftitl. 

2 Kira is by some gyanis translated canvas. 

3 Also translated — Thy feet are the lotus, my soul the bumble-bee 
flitting over them. This is on the supposition that bhawar is read 
for bhawan. 

4 This line is supposed to be an imitation of the devotee's repetition 
of God's name. The gyanis translate — They who repeat God's name 
in their hearts, they who repeat it with their tongues, and they who 
cause others to repeat it, bloom afresh. 

5 Nistar, literally — those who ought not to be saved. 


Through the name of God, Kabir became renowned, and 
the accounts of his sins of many births were torn up. 

Namdev as in duty bound 1 gave milk to god to drink ; 

Wherefore he had not the pain of being born again in 
the world. 

The slave Rav Das is dyed with God's love, 
And so, through the favour of the guru, he shall not go 
to hell. 

They who think not of God shall be condemned. 


How man, a puppet of clay, danceth ! 

He looketh and looketh, heareth, speaketh, runneth about. 

When he acquireth anything he is proud, 

But when his wealth is gone he beginneth to weep. 

In thought, word, and deed he is fascinated by pleasures, 

So when he perisheth he is contained somewhere else. 2 

Saith Rav Das, the world is a play, my brethren ; 

I have established loving relations with the True Actor. 3 

The object of the following hymn is to show that 
nothing offered to God by idolaters, even according 
to their own ideas, is pure, and that the true offering 
to God is the sincere heart. 


The calf hath denied the milk in the cow's udder by 
tasting it ; 

The bumble-bee hath spoiled the flowers, and the fish 
the water — 

My mother, where shall I find anything to offer in Gorl's 
worship ? 

I cannot find other flowers superior to these. 
Serpents twine round the sandal-tree ; 4 

1 Nimat, Sanskrit niyamit. His father, before going on a journey, 
enjoined him to give milk to the family idol during his absence. 

2 Instead of being absorbed in God's light he is born again as an 
inferior animal. 3 And not with the play. 

4 Serpents love the perfume ot the sandal-tree and twine around it. 
They thus, in the estimation of stiict Hindus, spoil and render it 
unfit to be offered in worship, as is commonly done. 


Poison and ambrosia dwell together ; 
Incense, lamps, and consecrated bread are polluted. 1 
How shall thy slave perform Thy worship ? 
Let me dedicate and offer my body and soul as my 

Thus, by the guru's favour, shall I find the Pure One. 
I cannot perform Thine adoration and worship according 
to Hindu rites ; 
Saith Rav Das, in what condition am I ? 2 

Rav Das concludes that everything is God. 


When there was egoism in me, Thou wert not with me ; 
now that Thou art with me, there is no egoism. 

Huge waves are raised by the wind in the ocean, but 
they are only water in water. 3 

0 God, what shall I say? Through illusion things 
are not as they are supposed to be. 

A king sleepeth on his throne ; in a dream he becometh 
a beggar ; 

He suffereth pain at losing his empire, though it is intact : 
such hath been my condition. 

Like the story of the rope and the serpent, I have now 
had the secret 4 explained to me. 

On seeing several 5 bracelets I erroneously supposed that 
they were distinct from the gold ; but what I then said I now 
say no longer. 

In all things the one Lord assumeth various shapes ; 
God sporteth in all hearts. 

1 Somebody has touched ihem. 

2 Since I cannot worship Thee with all the accessories of Hindu 

3 The meaning is, since the poet has abjured egoism, he has 
become a portion of God as the waves blend with the sea. 

4 I thought a rope was a serpent, but it was not. I thought that 
man existed, but now I find everything is God. 

5 If kanik were here read, the translation would be — As man 
mistaketh by calling a thing a bracelet instead of calling it gold. 


Saith Rav Das, God is nearer to us than our hands and 
feet ; it is what taketh place by His will that taketh place. 

Rav Das so loves God that he feels he has a claim 
on His mercy. 


When Thou didst bind us with a noose of illusion, we 
bound Thee with a bond of love ; 

Try to release Thyself ; we have been released by adoring 

0 God, Thou knowest how we feel towards Thee ; 

Now what wilt Thou do with us, such being our love for 
Thee ? 

Man catcheth a fish, sliceth it, cutteth it up, and cooketh 
it in various ways ; 

He biteth and eateth it, still it forgetteth not the 
water. 1 

The Supreme Ruler is no man's heritage ; He belongeth 
to him who loveth Him. 

Though the screen of illusion be spread over the whole 
world, yet it troubleth not the saint. 

Saith Rav Das, my devotion to the one God hath in- 
creased ; to whom shall I tell this now ? 

Shall I still suffer misery for the removal of which I 
worship Thee ? 

Rav Das on introspection finds himself wanting. 


1 obtained this birth difficult of attainment as the reward 
of merit, but it passeth away in vain on account of my want 
of discrimination. 

Say of what account would a palace and a throne like 
King Indar's be without devotion to God ? 

I have not thought of the pleasure in the Supreme God's 
name, a pleasure in which all other pleasures are forgotten. 

What we ought to have known we knew not ; we have 

1 That is, its eater becomes thirsty. 


become mad, and not considered what we ought to have 
considered, and so our days have passed away. 

Our passions are strong, and our discrimination weak ; 
our understanding cannot enter into God's designs. 

We say one thing, and do another ; worldly love hin- 
dereth us from understanding. 

Saith Rav Das, I, Thy slave, am sad at heart ; 

Avert Thine anger from me and have mercy on my soul. 

We should fix our attention on God who can 
adequately reward us. 


God is an ocean of pleasure ; in His power are the 
miraculous tree, and gem, and cow. 

The four advantages, the eighteen miraculous powers, 
and the nine treasures are in the palm of His hand. 

Why repeat not, ' God, God, God,' with thy tongue, 

And abandon all other device of words ? 

The epic poems, the Purans, the Veds of Brahma, are all 
composed out of thirty-four letters. 1 

Bias having reflected expressed his conviction that there 
was nothing equal to the name of God. 

Very fortunate are they who tranquilly contemplate and 
fix their attention upon God ; they shall afterwards be 
freed from their troubles. 

Saith Rav Das, the fear of death and birth fleeth from 
him who hath put the light of divine knowledge into his 

The saint's relation to God. 


If Thou art a hill, then I am Thy peacock ; 2 
If Thou art the moon, then I am Thy chakor ; 

0 God, if Thou break not with me, I will not break with 
Thee ; 

1 Omitting the modifications and combinations of the Sanskrit 
characters and retaining only one s. The meaning apparently is that 
the letters which form God's name are superior to all the other letters 
employed in the Hindu sacred writings. 

2 In India peacocks generally live on undulating lands. 



If I break with Thee, whom shall I join ? 

If Thou art a lamp, then I am Thy wick ; 

If Thou art a place of pilgrimage, then I am Thy pilgrim. 

I have joined true love with Thee ; 

Joining Thee I have broken with all others. 

Wherever I go there is Thy service ; 

There is no other Lord like Thee, 0 God. 

By worshipping Thee Death's noose is cut away. 

Rav Das singeth to obtain Thy service. 

Man is too proud of his body though its origin 
and its end are contemptible. 


The body is a wall of water supported by a pillar of air ; 
blood 1 and semen are its mortar. 

The poor soul dwelleth in a skeleton of bones, flesh, and 
veins ; 

0 mortal, what is mine and what is thine ? 

As a bird percheth on a tree, so doth the soul on the body. 

Thou layest foundations and buildest thyself a house ; 

Three and a half cubits shall be thy measure at last. 

Thou curlest thy hair, and wearest thy turban on the 
side of thy head ; 

But thy Dody shall become a heap of dust. 

Even though thou possess lofty palaces and beautiful 

Without the name of God thy game is lost. 

My caste is low, my lineage low, and base is my birth : 

1 have sought Thy shelter, O God, saith the tanner 
Rav Das. 

The following was addressed to some one who re- 
proached Rav Das for not following his trade : — 


I a cobbler know not how to mend shoes, 
Yet people want me to mend their shoes. 

1 Rakat, the portion supposed to be contributed by the female 
instead of the ova of modern physiology. 


I have no awl to stitch with ; 
I have no knife to patch with. 

People have been thoroughly ruined by mending shoes 1 — 
I have attained my object without mending shoes. 
Rav Das repeateth God's name ; 
I have now no concern with Death. 

Rav Das's devotion and hope in God. 


There is none so poor as I, none so compassionate as 
Thou ; for this what further test is now necessary ? 

May my heart obey Thy words ! fill Thy servant therewith. 
I am a sacrifice to Thee, O God ; 
Why art Thou silent ? 

For many births have I been separated from Thee, 0 God : 
This birth is on Thine own account. 2 

Saith Rav Das, putting my hopes in Thee I live ; it is 
long since I have seen Thee. 

Rav Das's love for God. 


I remember Thee, 0 God, in my heart ; I behold Thee 
with mine eyes ; I fill mine ears with Thy hymns 3 and 
praises ; 

I make my mind the honey-bee, I put Thy lotus feet into 
my heart, and with my tongue I utter Thine ambrosial 

May my love for God not decrease ! 

I have bought it dear in exchange for my soul. 

Without the companionship of the saints no love is pro- 
duced, and without love no service is performed for Thee. 

Rav Das offereth one prayer to God — preserve mine 
honour, O my sovereign Lord. 

1 And neglecting God, the expression ganlhi ganthi also means to 
be attached to worldly things. 

2 That I may worship Thee in human body. 

3 The clause is also translated — I fill my ears and my tongue with 
Thy praises. 


God's name is for Rav Das equal to all the Hindu 


Thy name, 0 God, is mine Arati and mine ablutions ; 

Without the name of God all display is vain. 

Thy name is my prayer-mat, Thy name my saffron- 
grater, Thy name the saffron which I sprinkle for Thee ; 

Thy name is the water, Thy name the sandal, the repeti- 
tion of Thy name the grating thereof ; 1 taking it I offer it 
unto Thee ; 

Thy name is the lamp, Thy name the wick, Thy name 
the oil I pour therein ; 

Thy name is the light which I have applied to it, and 
which hath enlightened the whole world ; 

Thy name is the string, Thy name the necklace of flowers ; 
all the eighteen loads of vegetables are too impure 2 to offer 

Why should I offer Thee the work of Thy hands ? Thy 
name is the chauri which I wave over Thee. 

The whole world is engrossed in the eighteen Purans, the 
sixty-eight places of pilgrimage, and the four sources of life. 

Saith Rav Das, Thy name is the Arati ; the true Name 
is the food I offer unto Thee, O God. 3 

God alone can save man from his evil passions. 


0 Lord, I know nothing ; 

1 have sold my soul to mammon. 

Thou art styled the great Lord of the world, and we the 

sensualists of the Kal age. 
The five evil passions which have corrupted my heart, 
Have at every moment thrown a barrier between Thee 

and me. 

Whithersoever I look, there is a stock of trouble. 

1 Sandal is grated and sprinkled by Hindus on their idol. 

2 Because the bee has tasted them. 

3 This hymn is recited in a collection of Sikh prayers called the 


I am not yet satisfied, although the Veds bear witness to 

As, for his sin, on the body of Indar, the paramour of Ahalya 
Gautam's wife, a thousand vaginae formed ; 

As the head of Brahma adhered to the hand of Shiv the 
lord of Uma 1 for his sin, 

So these wicked enemies, the deadly sins, have bound and 
beaten me also a sinner. 

I am very shameless, and have not yet grown weary of 
their company. 

Saith Rav Das, whither shall I go? What shall I do? 

Except God's protection whose shall I seek ? 

The saint and the sinner under the allegories of 
a good and a bad wife contrasted. 


The good wife knoweth her spouse's worth ; 

She renounceth pride and enjoyeth conjugal happiness ; 

She giveth her husband her body and soul, and maketh 
no distinction between him and herself ; 

She seeth no one else, heareth no one else, and speaketh 
to no one else. 

How should she, into whose heart no sorrow hath entered, 

Know of the woes of others ? 

The bad wife 2 who hath not served her spouse continually 

Is unhappy, and loseth both worlds — 

The way by the bridge of Sirat 3 is difficult — 

She shall have no companion, and must go alone. 

In grief and in pain, O God, I have come to Thy door ; 

I am very thirsty, and I have received no answer from Thee. 
Saith Rav Das, I have come to Thy protection ; effect my 

salvation as Thou thinkest best. 

1 Also called Parbati. 

2 Wife here is used for man in the generic sense, and the spouse is 

3 Sirai-ul-musiaktm, The bridge which leads to heaven, according 
to Muhammadans. 



As everything here changes, man should make 
provision for the hereafter. 


The days which come, pass away again ; 
We must march on, nothing remaineth stable. 
Our companions are going, we too must go ; 
The journey is long ; Death standeth over us. 
Why sleepest thou ? Awake for God's service, O silly 
one ; 

Thou thoughtest life a real thing in this world, when thou 
oughtest to have thought of God. 

He who gave thee life conveyeth thee sustenance, 

And in every heart openeth a shop. 1 

Worship God, lay aside egoism ; 

In thy heart remember God's name betimes. 

Thy life hath come to an end, yet thou hast not prepared 
thy way ; 

It is evening, and darkness is on every side. 
Saith Rav Das, O fool and madman, 
Didst thou not reflect that the world is a transitory 
abode ? 

Man can only rely on God, not on property or 


Man buildeth lofty mansions with halls and kitchens, 
But after Death he cannot remain in them for a ghari. 
This body is like a wainscoting of grass ; 
When the grass is burnt, it is blended with the dust. 
Even thy relations, thy family, and thy companions 
Set up a cry, ' Take him out quickly ! ' 
The wife of thy house who embraced thee in life, 
Crieth out, ' Ghost ! ghost ! ' and runneth away from 

Saith Rav Das, Death hath plundered the whole world, 
But I have escaped by repeating the name of the one God. 

1 To dispense food. 


God's grace is unparalleled. 


Everybody used to laugh on seeing my poverty — such 
was my condition ; 

But i" hold the whole eighteen supernatural powers in the 
palm of my hand through Thy favour. 

Thou knowest I am nothing, O God, Destroyer of fear ; 

All men have sought Thy protection, O God, Fulfiller of 
desires ; 

They who have sought Thy protection no longer bear the 
load of sin. 

High and low have been delivered from the shameless 1 
world through Thee. 

Saith Rav Das, why say more regarding the Ineffable ? 

Thou, O God. art Thine own parallel ; to what can I 
liken Thee ? 

The glorification of the saint. 


The family in which a saint of God is born, 

Whether it be of high or low caste, poor or rich, shall have 
its unalloyed fame blazoned through the world. 

Whether man be a Brahman, a Vaisya, a Sudar, a Khatri, 
a Dum, a Chandal, or a Malechh, 

He becometh pure by worshipping God ; he saveth him- 
self and the families of both his parents. 

Blest the village, blest the place of his birth, blest his pure 
family in all worlds ! 

He hath quaffed the supreme essence ; abandoning all 
others, he hath become intoxicated with it, and renounced 

Among pandits, heroes, and emperors, there is none 
equal to the saint. 

1 Also translated — Have been delivered from the entanglements of 
the world through Thee. 


As the leaves of the water-lily 1 in the water, saith Rav 
Das, is the saint's existence in the world ; he remaineth 
uncontaminated by it. 

God as the Dispenser of salvation. 


Repeat the name of God, the Dispenser of salvation, ye 

Without the Dispenser of salvation the body groweth 
weary in transmigration. 

The Dispenser of salvation is the Giver of deliverance ; 

The Dispenser of salvation is our father and mother. 

Living repeat His name, dying repeat His name ; 

His worshipper is ever happy — 

The Dispenser of salvation is my life. 

If it have been so recorded on thy forehead, thou shalt 
repeat His name. 

Only he who hath ceased to love the world can serve God. 

That Dispenser of salvation, I, poor though I be, have 
obtained as my wealth. 

If the one Dispenser of salvation do me a favour, 

What can the world do to me ? 

Having effaced my caste I have become a courtier of 

Thou, O God, art able to save the world — 
Divine knowledge hath sprung up, and I have become 
enlightened ; 

God hath graciously accepted this worm as His slave. 

Saith Rav Das, my thirst hath now ceased ; 

I repeat the name of God and perform His service. 

The fate of the slanderer. 


If man bathe at the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage, 
If he worship the twelve lingam stones, 

1 The water-lily is supposed to remain dry in the water. 



If he dedicate a well or a tank, 1 
But practise slander, all shall be in vain. 
How shall the slanderer of a saint be saved ? 
Know that he shall assuredly fall into hell. 
If man celebrate eclipses at Kurkhetar, 
Offer his wife with her decorations to the Brahmans, 
And hear with his ears all the Simritis, 
Yet if he practise slander, all shall be in vain. 
If he prepare many feasts to Brahmans, 
Make them gifts of land, and build them splendid public 
mansions ; 

If, neglecting his own business, he perform that of others, 
And yet practise slander, he shall wander in many births. 
O, ye people, why do ye slander ? 
The slanderer's character is well known. 
Holy men have considered and decided regarding the 
slanderer — 

Saith Rav Das, he is a sinner, and shall go to hell. 

It is the guru who communicates the Name by 
which God's designs are manifested. 

Ram kali 

Men read, study, and hear all God's names, yet God's 
designs are not known. 

How shall iron become pure gold unless it be touched by 
the philosopher's stone ? 

0 God, the knots of doubt unravel not ; 

Lust, wrath, worldly love, pride, and jealousy — these five 
combined plunder the world. 

' We are great poets, of high family, 2 we are Pandits, we 
are Jogis, Sanyasis, 

' Gyanis, virtuous heroes, we are generous ' — these ideas 
shall never perish. 

1 Tata, here for lardg, a tank. Others understand the word to 
mean a margin, and translate kup tala as a well with its surrounding 

2 KuUn. This word is now applied to a race of Brahmans in 
Bengal, who marry a large plurality of wives. 


Saith Rav Das, all these men do not understand God, 
they go astray like madmen. 

God's name is my support, my life, my soul, and my 

Rav Das in obtaining salvation acknowledges 
God's favour. 


Who but Thee, my Jewel, could do such a thing ? 

Cherisher of the poor, Lord of the earth ; Thou hast put 
over my head the umbrella of spiritual sovereignty. 

Thou relentest towards him whose touch defileth the 
world ; 

The lowly dost Thou exalt, my God, and none dost Thou 

Namdev, Kabir, Trilochan, Sadhna, and Sain were 
saved — 

Saith Rav Das, hear, O saints, through God everything 
is done. 

The man of low birth and caste may be saved by 


Though one perform the six good acts and belong to a 
high family, yet if he heartily worship not God, 

And love not the mention of His lotus feet, he is equal 
to a pariah. 

0 thoughtless man, think upon God in thy heart ; 
Why not look at Balmik ? 1 

From a low caste what a high position he attained by his 
special devotion to God ; 

Though an eater of dogs, the lowest of all, he was beloved 
by Krishan. 

How can poor mortals praise God ? His praise extendeth 
to the three worlds. 

Ajamal, the courtesan, Lodiya the huntsman, and the 
elephant went to God. 

1 This is the man whose feet Krishan washed, not the author of the 

Z 2 


Such degraded beings were saved; why shouldst not thou 
too be saved, O Rav Das ? 

The advantages of repeating God's name. 


Without beholding God there is no hope ; 

Everything that we see perisheth. 

He who repeateth God's name with due praise 

Is the only Jogi free from desires. 

If any one employ himself in repeating God's name, 

And God, the philosopher's stone, touch him, his duality 
shall no longer remain. 

He who destroyeth the duality of his mind is a muni ; 

He shall be absorbed in God 1 who filleth the three worlds. 

Everybody acteth according to his natural inclinations : 

It is only the Creator who abideth without fear. 

Vegetables blossom to produce fruit ; 

When the fruit appeareth the blossoms decay. 

For the sake of divine knowledge men practise religious 
ceremonies ; 

When divine knowledge is obtained, religious ceremonies 
are not performed. 

To make butter, knowing people churn coagulated milk ; 

So those who strive for divine knowledge obtain deliverance 
while alive, and are ever at rest. 

Saith Rav Das, having embraced supreme contempt for 
the world, 

Why not heartily repeat God's name, O luckless man ? 
Rav Das endeavours to humiliate his body. 


Thou knowest nothing, 0 my body; 

On seeing thy fine clothes thou puff est thyself up. 

No place can hold the proud ; 

Yet over thy head the crow caweth. 2 

1 Bindware — God who is without the organs of action. 

2 By some Oriental people the dead are thrown to crows, kites, and 


Why art thou proud, O demented body ? 

Thou art much more short-lived than a toadstool in the 
month of Bhadon. 

The deer knoweth not the secret of his musk ; 

He hath it in his body, yet he searcheth for it abroad. 

He who understandeth his own fleeting body, 

Shall never be disgraced by the myrmidons of Death. 

Man is proud of his son and wife ; 

It is from him God will take an account. 

Thou shalt suffer for what thou thyself hast done, 0 soul. 

Whom shalt thou afterwards address as ' Dear one, dear 
one ? ' 

If thou seek the protection of holy men, 
Thy sins, even though millions upon millions, shall all be 

Saith Rav Das, he who repeateth God's name 

Hath no concern with caste, or birth, or transmigration. 

The saint, no matter how low his caste, is superior 
even to the demigods. 


Neither the Lord of Lakshmi, 1 nor the Lord of Kailas, 2 
nor any one else is equal to those who repeat God's name : 

He is one alone though diffused in many ways ; recall, 
recall Him to your thoughts ; He filleth creation. 

He in whose house devotion to God and nothing else was 
seen, was by caste an untouchable calico-printer. 

The greatness of God's name was seen in Vyas ; it was 
observed in the sons of Brahma ; it is famous through the 
seven islands 3 of the earth. 

He whose family 4 used to sacrifice cows at the Id and 
Bakr Id, and who worshipped Shaikhs, and martyrs, and pirs, 

1 Vishnu. 

2 Where Shiv is supposed to reside. 

3 The conception of ancient Hindu geographers. 

4 The reference is to Niru, Kablr's adoptive father. This verse 
proves that Musalmans killed cows at the two festivals referred to long 
before the British occupation of India. 


Kabir, the son of a father who used to do such things, so 
succeeded that he became celebrated in the three worlds. 

All the chamars 1 of my family even still go round Banaras 
removing dead cattle, 

Yet strict Brahmans prostrate themselves before their 
offspring, Rav Das, the slave of God's slaves. 

The following hymn was composed in reply to 
a Brahman who inquired how Rav Das could obtain 
salvation : — 


By what devotion shall I meet my Beloved, the Lord of 
souls ? 

The supreme state is obtained by association with saints. 
Soiled is my vesture, 2 how long shall I wash it ? 
How long shall I remain in this sleep 3 which hath come 
upon me ? 

The things 4 to which I was attached have all perished ; 

The shop of spurious traffic hath closed. 5 

Saith Rav Das, when my account is taken, 

I shall see whatever I have done recorded to my credit. 


A hymn of Mira Bai is preserved in the Granth 
Sahib of Bhai Banno, which can be seen at Mangat 
in the Gujrat district of the Panjab, but it is not 
included in Guru Arjan's collection. 

Mira Bai was daughter of Ratan Singh Rathaur 
of Merata, a town between Bikaner and Jodhpur 
in Rajputana. She was born about a.d. 1504. She 
appears to have inherited her religious proclivities 

1 Leather-cutters supposed by the higher Hindu castes to be 

2 Until God enters it, it is hopeless to suppose my heart can be 

3 Spiritual ignorance. 4 The pleasures of the world. 
5 I have no longer dealings with the world. 



from her mother. When Mira Bai was yet a child, 
the bridal procession of a youth of position passed 
by the palace. All the ladies of the court, except 
Mira Bai's mother, went to the upper apartments 
to view the procession. She took the opportunity 
of their absence to worship an image of Krishan, 
called Girdhar Lai, which was set up in her private 

Mira Bai laid aside her playthings to follow her 
mother, and said to her, ' Who is my bridegroom ? ' 
Her mother smiled, took her in her arms, and, 
pointing to Girdhar Lai, said, ' There is your bride- 
groom.' Upon this Mira Bai instantly accepted 
him, and veiled her face according to the Oriental 
practice, which requires a wife to veil her face even 
from her mother in the presence of her husband. 
She became so enamoured of Girdhar Lai that she 
could not pass an instant without seeing him. Her 
love for him is compared to that of the milkmaids 
of Bindraban for Krishan. She in time indulged 
her passion without fear or shame, and without 
any regard for the traditions of her family con- 
cerning the retirement of women from the public 

While her affections were thus engaged, she was 
betrothed to Kanwar Bhojraj, son of Rana Sanga 
of Mewar. The subsequent marriage in a.d. 1516, 
as might well have been expected, proved unhappy. 
Bhojraj came to Merata in great state with a large 
retinue, but when the marriage ceremony was being 
performed and the time came for the bride to cir- 
cumambulate the pavilion set up for the ceremony, 
Mira Bai walked around the idol of Girdhar Lai, 
and took no notice of the bridegroom. When the 
time for her departure with her husband arrived, 
her parents wished to send her off with suitable 
marriage presents, but she was miserable at leaving 
Girdhar Lai. She grew sad and restless, and wept 
to such an extent that she became insensible. When 


she regained consciousness, her parents affectionately 
told her that, if it made her happy, she might take 
Girdhar Lai with her without any further ceremony. 
She replied that if they valued her present and 
future happiness, they would give her the image, 
and she would worship it with heart and soul. 
Her parents had already perceived that she was 
a saint and lover of God, and so at the moment of 
separation from their beloved daughter they pre- 
sented her with the image as part of her dowry. 

Mira Bai, who was overjoyed at obtaining posses- 
sion of the object of her devotion, set it up in her 
palanquin, and during the journey feasted her eyes 
on its beauty. On arriving at her new home, her 
mother-in-law, the Rani, had hardly paid her the 
rites of hospitality, when she asked her to worship 
Durga, a goddess of a totally different temper from 
the playful Krishan. Mira Bai replied that she 
had devoted her body to Girdhar Lai, and she 
would bow her head to none but him. Her mother- 
in-law replied that a good wife was improved by 
worshipping Durga. But Mira Bai closed the dis- 
cussion by saying it was of no use to press her 
further, and she would abide by her first determina- 
tion. On this the Rani became very angry, and 
went to complain of Mira Bai to the Rana : ' This 
daughter-in-law of ours is worthless, for on the very 
day of her arrival she refuseth to obey me and 
putteth me to shame. It is clear what our future 
relations are to be.' 

The Rana became excessively incensed, and went 
to his daughter-in-law with the intention of punishing 
her. The Rani, however, had sufficient sense to 
restrain him ; and he decided that the interests of 
domestic peace would be consulted by putting Mira 
Bai into a separate apartment. Though it is ad- 
mitted by Nabhaji that Rukmini, who became 
Krishan' s consort, and the milkmaids who became 
Krishan's playfellows, did not meet him until they 



had sacrificed to Durga, yet as Mira Bai had already 
obtained Krishan, it was unnecessary for her to 
worship Durga, and no exception could be taken to 
her conduct on the precedent of Rukmini and the 

Mira Bai on finding herself in a private apart- 
ment became excessively happy, and gave full scope 
to her religious enthusiasm. She set up her image, 
decked and adorned it, and devoted herself night 
and day to the company of holy men. Her sister-in- 
law Udai Bai was sent to remonstrate with her, 
and said, ' Thou art the scion of a noble house. 
Be wise and desist from the company of faqirs, 
which casteth a slur on both our families.' Mira 
Bai replied, ' The slur of hundreds of thousands of 
births departeth on association with saints. The 
slur is on her who loveth not their company. My 
life dependeth on the company of saints. To any 
one who is displeased with it thy remonstrance would 
be proper.' It was on this occasion that Mira Bai 
composed the following hymns : — 

0 my friend, my mind is attached to Krishan ; I shall 
not be restrained from loving him. 

If any one give me a reproach, I will give a hundred 
thousand in return. 

My mother-in-law is severe, my sister-in-law obstinate ; 
how can I endure this misery ? 

Mira for the sake of the lord Girdhar would endure the 
obloquy of the world. 

1 have the god Girdhar and no other ; 

He is my spouse on whose head is a crown of peacock 

Who carrieth a shell, discus, mace, and lotus, and who 
weareth a necklace. 1 

I have forfeited the respect of the world by ever sitting 
near holy men. 

1 This is a description of Vishnu, of whom Krishan was an in- 


The matter is now public ; everybody knoweth it. 
Having felt supreme devotion I die as I behold the 

I have no mother, father, son, or relation with me. 

I laugh when I behold my beloved ; people think I weep. 

I have planted the vine of love, and irrigated it again and 
again with the water of tears. 

I have cast away fear of the world ; what can any one 
do to me ? 

Mira's love for her god is fixed, come what may. 

The Rana, on being informed of Mira Bai's de- 
termination, became beside himself with rage, and 
sent her a cup of poison under the name of charn- 
amrit, that is, water in which an image had been 
bathed. When she tasted the liquor she knew it 
was poison, and thus apostrophized : ' The body is 
perishable, so why weep if it perish in the service 
of Krishan ? There needs be no regret at the dis- 
appearance of a mirage or at the failure of the son 
of a barren woman to wed. It is not right to say 
that the moon perisheth on the thirtieth day of the 
lunar month. Lamentations are as vain as the grief 
of a bee at the fading of an imaginary flower. As 
the fruit of a tree falleth, sooner or later, so have 
I fallen at Krishan's feet. As a pearl born in the 
ocean is turned into an ornament, so shall I glitter 
in Krishan's diadem. The world itself is an illu- 

Mira Bai's only grief at leaving her body was that 
the worship of Krishan might decline. Having in- 
formed the god of her father-in-law's intention, she 
thus addressed the object of her worship — ' People 
will say that the king poisoned his daughter-in-law 
because she worshipped thee. I fear therefore that 
thy worship will be neglected, and the apprehension 
causeth me poignant misery. Who will now put on 
thy decorations ? Who will put the saffron mark 
on thy forehead, attach dazzling rings to thine ears, 



twine a garland of pearls round thy neck, girdle 
thee with a jewelled zone, tie on thy golden armlets 
and anklets, light incense to gratify thy nostrils, 
make thee offerings of sweet basil, present thee with 
sacred food to satisfy thy hunger, and prostrate 
herself in adoration before thee ? My father-in-law 
hath already abandoned thy worship in his dis- 
pleasure with me, others too will reproach thee with 
my death and cease to do thee homage. But after 
all why should I be anxious ? Thou thyself knowest 
the past, the present, and the future. Thou hast 
ever preserved thy saints from poison, fire, and 
sword, so why should I be anxious now ? ' 

On this Mira Bai put the cup of poison on her 
head in token of submission, and then cheerfully 
drank it. On that occasion she composed the follow- 
ing verses : — 

Radha 1 and Krishan dwell in my heart. 

Some say that Mira is insane, others that she hath dis- 
graced her family. 

Opening her veil and baring her breast, she danceth with 
delight before her god. 

In the bowers of Bindraban, Krishan with the tilak on 
his forehead gladdeneth my heart. 

The Rana sent a cup of poison and Mira drank it with 

Mira's lord is the all-wise Girdhar ; she is bound to his 

The Rana waited to hear of Mira's death, but her 
life was miraculously preserved, and her cheeks 
gradually assumed a higher bloom. She devoted 
herself to the further decoration and ornamentation 
of the image, and decked it out in fashions ever 
new. She sang the praises of her god and filled 

1 Wife of Ayana Ghosha (a cowherd) and favourite mistress of 
Krishan while he lived as Gopal among the cowherds in Bindraban. 
— Dowson's Dictionary of Hindu Mythology. 


her heart with delight and immortal love. She also 
composed the following on this occasion : — 

I knew the Rana had given me poison. 
God who caused my boat to float across, separated the 
milk and water for me. 1 
Until gold is annealed, it is not perfectly pure. 

0 king, keep thine own family in seclusion ; I am the 
wife of another. 2 

1 sacrifice my mind and body to the saint even though he 
be a pariah ; I have sold myself to god. 

Mira for the sake of worshipping the lord Girdhar is 
entangled in the feet of holy men. 

When the Rana found that the poison had pro- 
duced no effect, he appointed tipstaffs to watch 
Mira Bai, and report when she again conferred with 
faqirs, so that she might be put to death when 
detected in the act. She was in the habit of laughing 
and holding playful converse with the idol. One 
day a tipstaff went and said to the king, 'At this 
very moment Mira Bai is holding conversation and 
laughing with some one.' The king took up his 
sword, and called out to her to open the folding 
doors. He asked her where the person was with 
whom she had been holding such pleasant discourse. 
She replied, ' There he is before thee, mine idol, 
mine adored. Open thine eyes and look. He is 
neither afraid nor ashamed of thee.' 

Nabhaji states that Mira Bai and the idol had 
been playing at Indian draughts, and at the time 
of the Rana's entrance the idol actually extended 
its arm to move a piece. The Rana on witnessing 
the miracle became ashamed. There was, however, 
no real impression made on his obdurate heart. 3 

1 That is, saved me in the ordeal. 

2 I am wedded to Girdhar Lai, not to thy son. 

3 Mira Bai's idol is still preserved in a temple dedicated to her in 
the old abandoned fortress of Chitaur, once the home of the ancestors 
of the Maharana of Udaipur. 



Once when Mira Bai was ill she composed the 
following : — 

Krishan with the large eyes looked at me, and smiled 

As I was going to draw water from the Jamna and the 
vessel glittered on my head. 

Since then the delightful image of the dark and beautiful 
one hath dwelt in my heart. 

You may write and bring me incantations, you may write 
and bring me spells, grind medicine and give it me, that will 
not cure me. 

If any one bring me Krishan as my physician I will 
gladly arise. 

His eye-brows are bows, his eyes the arrows which he 
fitted thereto, and dischargeth to pierce me. 

Mira's lord is the wise Girdhar ; how can I abide at home ? 

A dissolute and abandoned person tried to tempt 
Mira Bai's virtue. He told her that he was armed 
with Girdhar Lai's permission to give her such 
pleasure as she could only obtain from man's em- 
braces. She replied that she humbly submitted to 
Girdhar Lai's order, but that they must first dine. 
She meantime had a couch placed and dressed in 
the enclosure where saints were assembled. She there 
addressed her would-be paramour : ' Thou needest 
not be ashamed or afraid of any one, as the order 
of Girdhar Lai is on every account proper.' The 
man replied, ' Does any one do such things before 
others ? ' She said she knew of no secret place, for 
Krishan was everywhere present. ' He seeth the good 
and bad acts of all and rewardeth men according 
to their deserts.' On hearing this the ruffian turned 
pale, and vice gave place to virtue in his heart. 
He fell at her feet and with clasped hands asked 
her mercy and divine intercession. Mira Bai felt 
compassion and brought him, in the words of the 
chronicler, face to face with God. 

Tulsi Das, according to all received accounts, 
lived nearly a century after Mira Bai, but some 


poets have made them contemporaries. The fol- 
lowing letter to Tulsi Das is attributed by Raja 
Raghuraj Sinh to Mira Bai : — 

To the holy lord Tulsi Das, the virtuous, the remover of 
sin, greeting — 

I ever bow to thee, dispel all my sorrow. 

All my husband's relations give me continual annoyance. 

They cause me to endure great suffering when I associate 
with saints, and perform my worship. 

Since childhood Mira hath contracted love for Girdhar Lai : 

She cannot now free herself from it in any way ; it com- 
pletely overpowereth her. 

Thou art to me a father and mother ; thou conferrest 
happiness on God's saints. 

Write and inform me what it is proper for me to do. 

Tulsi Das's reply : — 

They who love not Ram and Sita 

Should be abandoned as if they were millions of enemies, 
however much we love them. 

Prahlad abandoned his father, Bibhishan his brother 
Rawan, and Bharat his mother, 

Bali his guru, the women of Brij their husbands, and 
their lives were all happier for having done so. 

The opinion of all holy saints is that relations with and 
love of God are alone true. 

Of what avail is the eye-salve which causeth the eyes to 
burst ; what more can I say ? 

Saith Tulsi Das, that spouse is worshipful, that son is 
dearer than life, 

Who is attached to Ram ; he is my real friend in this 

As Mira Bai has been made a contemporary of 
Tulsi Das, so also she has been made a contemporary 
of the Emperor Akbar. It is said that having 
heard of the virtues and beauty of Mira Bai, he 
went with his minstrel, Tansen, both disguised as 



hermits, to visit her. The following lines in attesta- 
tion of this circumstance are attributed to Mira 
Bai : — : 

O mother, I recognize Krishan as my spouse. 
Akbar came to test me and brought Tansen with him : 
He heard singing, music, and pious discourse ; he bowed 
to the ground again and again. 
Mira's lord, the all-wise Girdhar, made me his protegee. 

It is said that, on observing her devotion, Akbar 
was very pleased with the good fortune which 
enabled him to behold her. He made her a present 
of a jewelled necklace which she accepted with 
some misgivings, as it appeared too valuable an 
article for an ascetic to possess. The emperor was 
equal to the occasion, and said that he had found 
it while performing his devotional ablutions in the 
river Jamna, and thought it would be a suitable 
present to make her god. Tansen, it is said, com- 
posed an ode in her honour, and he and his royal 
master then returned to their capital. The neck- 
lace was too valuable not to provoke remarks un- 
favourable to its recipient. The Rana submitted it 
to assayers who valued it at a fabulous sum of 
money. On inquiry it was found to be the same 
that a jeweller had sold not long previously for a 
large price to the emperor. Further inquiry led to 
the identity of the two strolling hermits with Akbar 
and his favourite minstrel. Mira Bai's fate was now 
sealed. Her husband suspected that she had been 
polluted by the emperor. For this there was but 
one penalty in that age — she must die. Mira Bai's 
father-in-law sent her a cobra in a box, so that when 
she opened it the reptile might sting her to death. 
She was told it was a salagram. Before opening 
the box she addressed it as follows : — 

0 salagram in the box, why speakest thou not ? 

1 speak to thee, but thou repliest not ; why art thou 
silent ? 


This ocean of the world is very immense ; take mine arm 
and extricate me. 
Mira's lord, wise Girdhar, thou alone art my helper. 

On opening the box Mira composed the following: — 

What shall the Rana do to me ? Mira hath cast off the 
restraints of her line. 

The Rana once sent a cup of poison to kill Mira ; 

Mira drank it with delight, loving it as if it were water 
blessed by her lord. 1 

The Rana hath now sent a box containing a cobra; 

But when I opened it and looked, the cobra became a 

There was a sound of rejoicing in the company of the 
saints ; Krishan had mercy on me. 

I decorated myself, attached bells to my feet, and, keeping 
time with both my hands, 

Danced before the idol, and sang the praises of Krishan. 

The holy are mine and I am theirs ; the holy are my life. 

Mira is absorbed in the holy as butter is in milk before 

Rana Sanga, Mira's father-in-law, was still ob- 
durate and determined that she should die by the 
sword, but no one could be found to act as exe- 
cutioner. She was then ordered to kill herself in 
whatever way she thought fit. By this time she 
was a widow, her husband having predeceased his 
father, and her person was at her own disposal. 
Promising that she would obey the Rana's com- 
mand she retired to her solitary apartment, during 
the night put on the dress of a mendicant, and left 
the palace. She plunged in the nearest river to die 
in obedience to the order she had received. It is 
said that she was miraculously preserved by an 
angel who brought her to shore and addressed her : 
' 0 queen, thou hast obeyed thy father-in-law and 
art worthy of all praise for thy devotion, but thou 
1 Water in which her idol had been bathed. 



hast a higher duty still to perform. It is thine to 
set a high example to the world, and show unto 
men how to fulfil the designs of the Creator and 
become absorbed in Him.' When she recovered she 
found herself alone on the river's bank with the 
current flowing at her feet. She stood up in amaze- 
ment, not knowing for the moment what to do. 
She met some cowherds, of whom she inquired the 
way to Bindraban. They presented her with milk, 
and directed her whither to proceed. She walked 
on singing her hymns, the object of blessings and 
attentions in the villages through which she passed. 

On her arrival in Bindraban she desired to see 
Jiv Gosain. To her disappointment he sent her 
word that he would allow no woman into his presence. 1 
She replied, ' I thought everybody in Bindraban 
a woman, and only Girdhar Lai a man. 2 I learn 
to-day that there are other partners than Krishan 
in Bindraban.' By this she scoffingly meant that 
the Gosain placed himself on an equality with 
Krishan as god of Bindraban. The Gosain, on 
hearing her rebuke, went barefooted to do her 
homage, and beholding her became filled with the 
love of God. 3 

1 This originally Oriental exclusiveness had long previously been 
imitated by Christian ascetics. St. Senanus is represented as thus 
addressing a female saint who sought to land in his island — 

Quid foeminis 
Commune est cum monachis? 
Nec te nec ullam aliam 
Admittemus in insulam. 

2 On the principle, already stated, that God is deemed a husband 
and human beings His wives. 

3 Jiv Gosain was the son of Ballabh AchSrya, and uncle of Rupa 
and Sanatan, two devout followers of Chaitanya, the great Vaishnav 
reformer of Bangal (a.d. 1485-1533). Rupa and Sanatan had been 
ministers of the Muhammadan ruler of Bihar, and were of royal blood, 
high rank, and great wealth, all which advantages they relinquished 
to lead religious lives. Jiv Gosain was an author of some pretensions. 
He annotated a treatise of his nephew Rupa, describing religious 
pleasures and emotions. He wrote a book on the acts of Krishan, 
but his greatest work was one in which he amplified his annotations 

sikh. vi A a 


Mira Bai with loving devotion traversed every 
grove and pathway of Bindraban, and having fixed 
the sweet image of Krishan in her heart returned 
to her late husband's home. On finding her father- 
in-law still obdurate, she went on a pilgrimage to 
Dwaraka, where Krishan reigned after leaving 
Mathura. There again she became entranced with 
the pleasure of adorning and enhancing the beauty 
of her favourite god. 

During her absence from Chitaur, the capital of 
Mewar, the visits of holy men to that capital ceased. 
Dissensions arose in the state. It was only then that 
the Rana realized what a holy person he had lost. 
He sent several Brahmans and instructed them to 
use every entreaty to Mira Bai to induce her to 
return, and finally to tell her that it was impossible 
for him to live unless she complied with his prayer. 
The Brahmans executed his orders, but Mira Bai 
refused to put herself again in the Rana's power. 
Upon this the Brahmans sat at her door and declared 
their intention of neither eating nor drinking till 
she had returned with them. She replied that she 
lived in Dwaraka only by the favour of Krishan. 
She would go and take leave of him and return to 
the Brahmans. She went to do homage to Ran- 
chhor, 1 the visible representation of that god, became 
absorbed in his love, and what she had she gave — 
a humble offering of verses at his shrine :— 

0 god, remove thy servant's sufferings ; 

Thou didst supply Draupadi with endless robes and save 
her modesty ; 

For the sake of thy saint Prahlad thou didst assume the 
body of a man-lion ; 

Thou didst kill Hiranyakashapu, who had not the courage 
to oppose thee ; 

on the treatise of Rupa, and dwelt at length on the various phases of 
devotional exaltation. 

1 Krishan received the name Ranchhor when he fled from Raja 
Jarasandh to Dwaraka. 



Thou didst kill the crocodile and extricate the drowning 
elephant from the water. 

0 beloved Girdhar, Mira is thy slave ; her enemies every- 
where annoy her. 

Take me, my friend, take me to thy care as thou knowest best . 

1 have none but thee ; do thou show mercy unto me. 

I have no appetite by day and no sleep by night ; my body 
pineth away. 

Lord of Mira, all-wise Girdhar, come to me now ; I cannot 
live in thine absence. 

It is said that Ranchhor, on beholding her supreme 
love, could resist no longer. He incorporated her 
in himself, and she became lost to human gaze. 
The Brahmans searched for her in vain. The only 
trace of her they could obtain was her sarhi, which 
was found enveloping the body of the idol. The 
Brahmans' faith in Krishan was confirmed, but their 
mission otherwise was unsuccessful, and they re- 
turned sore disappointed to the Rana. The latter 
soon experienced the further mortification of be- 
holding his state conquered and plundered, it is said, 
by the victorious army of Akbar as a retribution for 
the ill-treatment of Mira Bai. 

The following is one of the hymns whose passionate 
devotion is said to have produced the result of Mira 
Bai's union with Ranchhor : — 

0 Lord Ranchhor ; grant me to abide in Dwaraka, to abide 
in Dwaraka. 

With thy shell, discus, mace, and lotus dispel the fear of death . 
All places of pilgrimage ever abide in the Gomti for me. 
The clash of thy shell and cymbals is to me ever the 
essence of pleasure. 

1 have abandoned my country, my queenly robes, my 
husband's palace, my property, and my kingdom. 

Mira, thy slave, cometh to thee for refuge ; her honour is 
now totally in thy keeping. 1 

1 The hymns in this life of Mira Bai are translated from Raja 
Raghuraj Sinh's Bhagat Mai. 



It is said that in commemoration of the mira- 
culous disappearance of Mira Bai, her image is still 
worshipped at Udaipur in conjunction with that of 
Ranchhor, the beloved Girdhar of her childhood. 

The following is Mira Bai's hymn in Bhai Banno's 
Granth Sahib. 


God 1 hath entwined my soul, O mother, 

With His attributes, 2 and I have sung of them. 

The sharp arrow of His love hath pierced my body through 
and through, 0 mother. 

When it struck me I knew it not ; now it cannot be en- 
dured, O mother. 

Though I use charms, incantations, and drugs, the pain 
will not depart. 

Is there any one who will treat me ? Intense is the agony, 
0 mother. 

Thou, 0 God, art near ; Thou are not distant ; come 
quickly to meet me. 

Saith Mira, the Lord, the mountain-wielder, 3 who is com- 
passionate, hath quenched the fire of my body, 0 mother. 

The Lotus-eyed hath entwined my soul with the twine of 
His attributes. 


There are hymns and sloks bearing the name of 
Farid found in the Granth Sahib. The Persian 
historian Farishta states that when Taimur Lang 
approached Ajodhan (Pak Pattan) in the Panjab 
in the year a. d. 1318, Sad-ul-Din, 4 a grandson of 
Shaikh Farid, who was then on his spiritual throne, 
fled with several of the leading inhabitants of the 
city to Bhatner in the state of Bikaner, where 

1 Kawalnain, the Lotus-eyed, an epithet of Krishan, the object of 
Mira Bai's special worship. 

2 Gun has two meanings — a rope or twine, and an attribute. 

3 Krishan. 

4 In Arabic names the / is generally silent in such combinations. 



they subsequently made peace with the invaders. 
Guru Nanak was born in a. d. 1469, so he could not 
have met the original Farid. It is stated too in the 
oldest account of the Guru's life that it was with 
Shaikh Brahm (Ibrahim), Farid's successor, known 
as Farid the Second, he had two interviews. It 
is certain that it was Shaikh Brahm who com- 
posed the sloks and hymns bearing the name of 
Farid in the Granth Sahib, though he used the 
name of the founder of his spiritual line as his 
poetical nom de plume. 

The following is the genealogy of Shaikh Brahm. 
He was the son of Khwaja Shaikh Muhammad, who 
was son of Diwan Pir Ataulla, who was son of Diwan 
Shaikh Ahmad Shah, who was son of Diwan Pir 
Baha-ul-Din styled Harun, who was son of Khwaja 
Munawwar Shah, who was son of Khwaja Diwan 
Pir Fazal, who was son of Khwaja Diwan Muiz-ul- 
Din, who was son of Khwaja Diwan Pir Ala-ul-Din 
called Mauj-i-darya — a wave of piety— who was son 
of Diwan Badar-ul-Din Sulaiman, who was son of 
Hazrat Baba Farid-ul-Din Masaud Shakar Ganj, the 
original Farid of Pak Pattan. 

Shaikh Brahm holds a distinguished place in the 
list of great saints, and bears several titles or appella- 
tions. He is called Farid Sani or Farid the Second, 
Salis Farid or the arbitrator Farid, Shaikh Brahm 
Kalan (Shaikh Brahm the elder), Bal Raja, Shaikh 
Brahm Sahib, and Shah Brahm. He is said to have 
performed many miracles. The following is given 
as an example. A thief once entered his house with 
criminal intent, but by God's will was struck blind 
and could not find his way out. When Shaikh 
Brahm rose at night to pray, he told his servant 
to fetch water for his ablutions. The servant saw 
the blind thief standing helpless on the floor, and 
informed his master. The thief prayed for forgive- 
ness, and promised that, if he recovered his sight, 
he would renounce his evil ways. Upon this Shaikh 


Brahm prayed for him ; he recovered his sight, and 
became a devout Musalman. Another of Shaikh 
Brahm's miracles is this. In a season of drought 
he took off his turban and began to whirl it about, 
upon which rain fell abundantly. 

Two sons of Shaikh Brahm are mentioned— one 
Shaikh Taj-ul-Din Mahmud, a great saint, and another 
Shaikh Munawwar Shah Shahid. Shaikh Brahm 
had several disciples, such as Shaikh Salim Chishti 
Fatahpuri, Shaikh Almadi of Chunian, Baba Ahmad 
Lanak of Dipalpur, Maulvi Jalal-ul-Din of Shaikha- 
bad, Shah Abdul Fatah of Ghazipur, Haji Niamat 
Ulla of Shaikhupur, &c. 

Shaikh Brahm died on the 21st of Rajab, a. h. 960 
(a. d. 1552), after a spiritual reign of forty-two 
years. The Khulasat-ul-Tawarikh states that he was 
buried at Sarhind. Whatever other details are 
known of him have been given in the life of Guru 
Nanak, who went on two occasions to meet and 
converse with him. 

There is a great deal known or written regard- 
ing the original Shaikh Farid, and it appears that 
this sketch would be incomplete without some 
account of him. 1 Two genealogies of Shaikh Farid, 
subsequently called Farid Shakar Ganj, are given in 

1 The materials for the life of Farid, which are preserved at the 
shrine of Pak Pattan, are the Jawahir-i-Faridi (the Gems of Farid) 
by Ali Asghar of Bahadal, a town near Sarhind; the Rahal-ul-Qulub 
(Repose of Hearts), being a- diary of Farld's acts and instructions 
compiled by Nizam-ul-Dln Auliya ; the Mahhazan-i-Chishti, and the 
Asrar-i-Iirai-i-Faridi (Private lives of Farld's descendants), by Plr 
Muhammad of Pak Paltan. The first three are in the Persian, the 
fourth in the Urdu language. 

AH Asghar's work, the Jawahir-i-Faridi, was completed during the 
reign of Jahanglr on the 4th day of the month of Rajab a. h. 1033 
(a. d. 1623). Ali Asghar took the work for examination and correc- 
tion to Maulvi Shaikh Muhammad. The latter was grandson of 
Shaikh Taj-ul-Din Mahmud, who was, as we have seen, a son of 
Shaikh Brahm, called Farid the Second. The details given in the 
Jawahir-i-Faridi are said to have been obtained from several volumes 
deposited in the sacred library at Baghdad. 



the Jawahir-i-Faridi — one spiritual, the other tem- 
poral. He received his spiritual position from his 
priest Khwaja Qutub-ul-Din Bakhtiyar Ushi 1 of 
Dihli, whose spiritual predecessors ascend in a direct 
line to the Prophet of Makka. Farid's temporal or 
family genealogy is traced back through princes and 
kings to Hazrat Amir-ul-Mumanin Umr-bin-ul Khitab 
Qureshi Makki Faruqi, the second Khalifa of the 

When Farrukh Shah, from whom Farid was 
descended, was king of Kabul, the kings of Ghazni 
and other states were subject to him. When Kabul 
was subsequently captured by the king of Ghazni, 
Farrukh Shah's son went to him in quest of a liveli- 
hood. The king of Ghazni treated him with respect, 
and not only restored him his kingdom of Kabul, 
but gave him his daughter in marriage. It would 
appear that the kings of Ghazni and Kabul at the 
time were relations, for Shaikh Farid's father, Shaikh 
Jamal-ul-Din, was nephew of the king of Ghazni. 

Shaikh Farid's great-grandfather was killed in the 
struggles of that period. 2 Farid's grandfather, Shaikh 
Shaib, with his relations, including three sons, the 
eldest of whom was Jamal-ul-Din Sulaiman, aban- 
doned their country and took refuge in the Panjab in 
a.h. 519 (a. d. 1125). The Qazi of Kasur, who had 
been educated in Kabul and who was acquainted 
with the high position Shaikh Shaib had held there, 
treated him and his relatives with great respect and 
hospitality. 3 After some time Shaikh Shaib pro- 

1 So called as having come from Ush in Farghana. See Aln-i-Akbari. 

2 In the original it is stated that when Halaku, the grandson of 
Changez Khan, invaded Ghazni and Kabul, he killed several princes 
and learned men, including Shaikh Farid's great-grandfather. This 
is not correct. Halaku's era was long subsequent. It was in 
a. d. 1258 he captured the city of Baghdad, and brought the Arab 
Khalafat to a close. 

3 In the account preserved at Pak Pattan it is stated that the Qazi 
of Kasur, through the subadar of Lahore, informed the Emperor of 
Shaikh Shaib's arrival in the Panjab. This must be an error. The 


ceeded to Multan where he deemed he should be 
less exposed to worldly influences or the temptings 
of ambition. When he heard of the attentions in 
store for him in that city, he decided that he could 
not there carry out his intention to lead a life of 
obscurity and self-effacement. He accordingly took 
up his abode in Kothiwal, now known as Chawali 
Mushaikh, not far from Dipalpur. 

Shaikh Shaib, established in Kothiwal a private 
college for religious instruction, and in spite of him- 
self attracted much attention. His eldest son 
Jamal-ul-Din married Bibi Miriam, 1 daughter of 
Saiyid Muhammad Abdula Shah— a descendant of 
Ali — and adopted daughter of Maulvi Wajih-ul-Din, 
a descendant of Abbas, uncle of the Prophet of 
Makka. Wajih-ul-Din had fled from Kabul during 
political difficulties and taken up his abode in Karor 
in the Multan district. Miriam is described as a very 
pious lady and worker of some great miracles. She 
had three sons, Khwaja Aziz-ul-Din, Farid-ul-Din 
Masaud, Khwaja Najib-ul-Din, and one daughter, 
Bibi Khatun Jamila, the mother of Saiyad Ala-ul- 
Din Ali Ahmad Sabir. 

Nizam-ul-Din Auliya, a disciple of Farid, relates 
a legend of a robber who went to Farid's mother's 
house to steal. On beginning his operations he lost 
his sight. He then cried out that there must be 
some saint or miracle- worker present. He vowed 
that, if his lost sight were restored, he would renounce 
thieving and become a good Muhammadan. On 
hearing this vow Miriam prayed for him, and his 
sight was restored. He went home, and returned 
to her the following morning with an offering of milk. 
Accompanied by his wife and children, he expressed 
a desire that they should all become Muhammadans. 

Emperor of Hindustan was then Prithwi Raj. Shahab-ul-Dln's victo- 
rious Indian career did not begin until about fifty years afterwards. 

1 Israr-i-lirat-i-Faridi. In the Jawahir-i-Faridi Jamal-ul-Din's 
wife, Farid's mother, is called Quresham. 



Miriam caused his wishes in this respect to be grati- 
fied, with the result that they all became holy. In 
reply to her, he said his name was Chawa. His 
shrine among others in that locality subsequently 
became a place of devout pilgrimage. 

When Farid was conceived, his mother used to 
spend her days and nights in prayer. He was 
born at Kothiwal on the first day of the month of 
Ramzan, a.h. 569 (a.d. 1173). The night of his 
birth was dark and cloudy, and the moon, whose 
appearance indicates the beginning of Ramzan— the 
Muhammadan Lent— could not be seen, so men did 
not know when to begin their fast. A holy man 
arrived and said that a wonderful son had been born 
to Jamal-ul-Din Sulaiman. If the infant suckled, 
the time for fasting had not yet begun, but if, on the 
contrary, he refused the breast, then all good Muham- 
madans must fast. Farid did not suckle, and so 
it was apparent the fast had begun. During the 
whole of the month of Ramzan, it is said, the infant 
only took milk by night in the Muhammadan fashion 
and fasted by day. 

When Farid was a few years old his mother taught 
him his prayers. The boy asked what was gained 
by prayer. His mother replied ' Sugar '. She used 
accordingly to hide some sugar under his prayer- 
carpet, and, when he had finished his prayers, draw 
it forth, and give it to him as a reward for his devo- 
tion. On one occasion, when his mother was absent, 
he prayed a great deal, and, it is said, a great supply 
of sugar— a miraculous gift of God— was found under 
his carpet. Some he ate himself and the rest he gave 
to his playfellows. He related the circumstance to 
his mother on her return. It was then his mother 
gave him the surname Shakar Ganj, meaning a 
treasury of sugar. 

The following is another version of the reason why 
the name Shakar Ganj was bestowed on Farid. It is 
related that, when the Prophet Muhammad ascended 


into heaven, God gave him a plate of sugar, which He 
said was from the treasury of a saint who should be 
born in his sect. The Prophet was to eat some of it 
himself, and give the remainder to his disciples. 
When the Prophet returned to earth, his friends 
asked him whence he had obtained the sugar. He 
replied that a holy man should be born in his sect, 
who would become a mediator for sinners. When 
the Prophet was asked the holy man's name 
he said, ' He shall receive from God the name 
Farid, as being fard-i-alam, unique in the world, and 
he shall be called by me Shakar Ganj.' A third 
reason for the name will subsequently be given. 

His mother sent Farid to school at the age of four 
or five years. In a short time he committed the 
whole of the Quran to memory. He was then sent 
to Multan, where he became proficient in secular 
learning. His mother, it is said, was then counselled 
by an angel to send him on a pilgrimage to Makka. 
Farid himself had previously conceived the same 
desire, though he was then hardly more than a child. 
He was at the time reading the Abul Nafa with 
Saiyid Nazir Ahmad. When the latter heard of 
Farid's intended departure, he began to weep at the 
loss of his beloved pupil. His parents then resolved 
to take the boy's preceptor also. They set out from 
Kothiwal on the 13th day of Jamadi ul Sani, a. h. 585, 
and arrived in the harbour of Jadda on the. 12th 
of Zi Qada of the same year, that is, after a journey 
of five months. Thence they proceeded to Makka. 

Farid's party stayed in the house of Abdul Rahim 
Ansari, whose wife was very attentive to them. 
They heard that Abdul Qadir Jilani, styled Hazrat 
Ghaus Pak Qutub-i-Alam, had come from Baghdad 
to perform the great Muhammadan pilgrimage, and 
taken up his position in the cave of Hura on mount 
Abu Qabis near Makka. 1 Hazrat Ghaus's praises 

1 We here follow the annals of the shrine at Pak Pattan. Accord- 
ing to the Ain-i-Akbari Abdul Kadir died before the birth of Farid. 



were in every body's mouth, and Farid did not 
conceal his admiration of the distinguished saint. 
An unkempt faqir on hearing Farid's language fore- 
told the boy's subsequent greatness. The faqir 
whispered something into his ear, and he at once 
became insensible. He was taken up and carried 
to Abdul Rahim's house. 

Farid afterwards averred that while he was in this 
state of apparent insensibility the Prophet appeared 
to him, and foretold his future distinction and the 
fame of his shrine. Muhammad promised he would 
stand on Farid's tomb every fifth day of the Mu- 
harram for nine hours through all time. Farid's 
mother suggested to him to commit to writing all the 
details of his interview with the Prophet ; but the 
memorandum made in obedience to his mother's 
suggestion has not been found. 

When the pilgrimage to Makka was over, Hazrat 
Ghaus invited Farid and his party to visit him in 
his cave. Hazrat Ghaus there produced an iron box 
containing relics of the Prophet. They consisted of 
two banners which used to precede him in war, two 
covers for them, a cup made of olive wood, a pair 
of buskins, a saffron-coloured turban, and some 
alpaca cloth for a neckcloth. When these things after 
examination were restored to the iron box, it was 
placed on Farid's head and bestowed on him. 

After this Farid's party went to visit Madina, and 
after a brief sojourn there returned to India. On their 
way from the sea they visited Ajmer, where Farid 
received instruction from Khwaja Gharib Nawaz. 

Farid was in due time sent to Kabul to study 
theology. Having completed his course there he 
returned to Multan. At Minhaj-ul-Din's mosque he 
met the saint Qutub-ul-Din, and became his disciple. 

Farid's cousin, Baha-ul-Din Zakaria, 1 Saiyid Jalal- 

1 Surnamed Makhdum-i-Alam. His tomb is within the Multan 
fort. An account of this saint will be found in the Khulasat-ul- 


ul-Din Bukhari, and Lai Shahbaz Qalandar asked 
Farid to join them on a religious peregrination. They 
were to proceed as fancy dictated in quest of some 
man of eminent sanctity. Farid said that he only 
believed in his own priest Qutub-ul-Din. Baha-ul- 
Din, however, pressed him to join the party, and 
Farid finally consented. On the j ourney they arrived 
at a place where two ways met. On one way which 
was short there were thieves, while on the other which 
was long they might travel in safety. Baha-ul-Din 
advised them to go by the safe road even though it 
cost more trouble, lest they might be deprived of the 
money they had with them for their travelling 
expenses. Farid gave it as his opinion that they 
should divest themselves of everything that was 
likely to be stolen, and then proceed by the short 
road. This advice was adopted. 

On their way they arrived at the river Indus, 
where they found fishermen casting nets. Farid and 
his party were hungry and agreed to cast nets into 
the river, each in his turn and in his own name, in the 
hope of catching some fish for their dinner. The 
nets were cast and found empty until it came to 
Farid's turn. His net became so full of fish, and 
therefore so heavy, that the fishermen could not 
draw it out of the water. Farid repeating Bismillah 
easily drew it forth. 

The party then proceeded to cross the river. On 
the opposite shore there lived a saint called Shaikh 
Suf, under whose spiritual guidance Farid and his 
party wished to place themselves. Shaikh Suf told 
Farid and his friends that he had no power to make 
them his disciples, and referred them to Shaikh 
Shahab-ul-Din Saharwardi, the cynosure of the age, 
who lived in Bukhara. Farid and his three friends 
then set out for Bukhara. Shahab-ul-Din declared 
that Farid was a man of wonderful courage, and 
destined to obtain a high spiritual position. At the 
same time he ought to return to his own priest 



Qutub-ul-Din. Before the return of the party Baha- 
ul-Din became a disciple of Shahab-ul-Din. 

As Farid, Baha-ul-Din, Saiyid Jalal-ul-Din Bukh- 
ari, and Lai Shahbaz Qalandar were returning from 
Bukhara they stayed near a village in Sindh. A charit- 
able person gave them a little corn for food, which 
they much required after a long fast. Farid bade 
his companions go and pray in the forest, while he 
took the corn to the village to be ground. He went to 
a woman's house and asked her to grind the corn and 
take some of the flour for her labour. She seeing that 
he was very handsome invited him into her house, and 
told him that he might grind the corn himself. When 
he entered, she proposed that he should make love 
to her. Preparatory to the hoped-for act she put 
her child of three months old into a cradle. Farid 
repulsed her, and when she further pressed her pro- 
posal took to flight. She then cried out, called all 
her neighbours to witness an indecent assault, and 
charged the runaway with having dishonoured her. 
The villagers collected, pursued and arrested Farid, 
and took him before the magistrate. He was called 
upon for his defence, and asked to produce witnesses 
of his innocence if he had any ; otherwise he should 
suffer the punishment provided for such a heinous 
crime. Farid said his witness was the woman's 
child, who would support his statements. The child 
was brought to court in his cradle. Farid adjured 
the child by his Creator to speak the truth, and tell 
what had occurred. He, to the astonishment of all, 
not only spoke intelligently, but gave evidence 
calculated to completely establish Farid's innocence. 
Upon this the magistrate rebuked and imprisoned 
the woman. 

When Farid reached Khwaja Qutub-ul-Din, the 
latter was at the height of his fame. The author of 
the Jawahir-i-Faridi states that he enjoined the 
observance of the following four rules on all who 
aspired to perfection— sleep little, eat little, speak 


little, associate little with the world. Farid said 
that, even were every hair on his body a tongue, he 
could not describe Qutub-ul-Din's virtues. 1 

Qutub-ul-Din, on finding Farid deficient in scholar- 
ship, sent him to the shrine of Abdul Shakur of 
Sarsa to finish his education. 2 On that occasion 
Farid repeated the following : — 

0 Farid, thou hast not walked in God's way ; therefore 
He hath not appeared unto thee. 

Who is there who hath knocked at God's door for whom 
it hath not been opened ? 

Lose thy life on the way of the Friend if thou desire to 
be even as those holy men. 

The high reputation Farid obtained in Dihli soon 
became irksome to him. He therefore made his way 
to Hansi, where he remained for some time. Mean- 
time his high priest in Dihli appears to have died. 
Upon this Farid paid a second visit to that city, and 
assumed the mantle of his late spiritual guide. He 
ultimately left it in the keeping of Jamal-ul-Din of 
Hansi, and thence proceeded to Ajodnan, the present 
Pak Pattan, where he afterwards died, and where 
his followers now reside and receive offerings at his 

1 Khwaja Qutub-ul-Din Bakhtiyar Kaki was a Saiyid of the Jafiri 
Husaini tribe. He was born about the middle of the twelfth century a. d. 
Having studied under Abu Hifz, a celebrated Muhammadan doctor of 
Ush, he went to Ajmer and became a disciple of Muayan-ul-Dm 
Hasan Chishti. In due time he proceeded to Dihli where not only 
Farid, but the Emperor Sultan Shams-ul-Din Altmish became his 
disciple. He is said to have been a worker of miracles, and to have 
obtained his surname Kaki from his ability to produce hot cakes (kak) 
at will from under his arm-pits. He died in a.d. 1235, and was 
buried in Dihli, where his tomb is held in devout reverence by pious 
Muhammadans. His descendants are called Chishtis from the tribe of 
his priest. — Makhazan-ul- Tawartkh. 

Qutub-ul-Din's tomb near the natural spring called Jhalra in 
Ajmer was a favourite place of pilgrimage of the Emperor Akbar. — 

2 The Rahat-ul-Qulub here gives a different legend. 



The manner in which the name of the place 
became changed to Pak Pattan may be here stated. 
A canal which derived its water from the Satluj 
passed near the town. It was usual for all who 
visited Farid to wash their hands and feet there. 
The place then became known as Baba Sahib ka. 
Pak Pattan, or Farid's cleansing ferry. 

When Farid first went to Ajodhan, it is said that 
he lived on the fruit of the jal and the wild caper. 
These formed his staple food even when he subse- 
quently became great and famous. 

Abu Musalla, a qazi of Pak Pattan, grew jealous 
of the new-comer Farid, and complained to the 
subadar of Multan that he sang and danced. The 
subadar forwarded the complaint to the Emperor, 
who issued an order, as usual, in the Persian language, 
' Anra az shahar ba dar kuned,' turn him out of the 
city. When this order reached the subadar he read, 
' Qazira az shahar ba dar kuned,' turn the qazi out of 
the city. The words, it was said, had been miracu- 
lously changed during the transit of the order from 
Dihli to Multan. When the qazi heard of the order 
he, deeming repentance convenient and more profit- 
able than expulsion, fell at Farid's feet, implored 
his forgiveness, and became his disciple. The qazi 
in due time gave his daughter in marriage to Farid's 
son Makhdum Badr-ul-Din. From this marriage 
was born Hazrat Ala-ul-Din Mauj-i-Darya. 

Farid after some time, in accordance with his 
mother's advice, went to a forest, and lived there as 
an anchoret for twelve years, subsisting on the leaves 
of trees. On his return she began to comb his 
dishevelled hair. Farid complained that the opera- 
tion caused him pain. His mother replied that he 
must have caused similar pain to the trees when he 
robbed them of their leaves and fruit for food. It is 
written in the Quran that everything prays to God, 
hence the trees must be sentient beings. Farid then 
felt for the first time that his penance had been profit- 


less. He accordingly set out on another pilgrimage 
of twelve years. This time, so as not to hurt any 
living thing, he tied a wooden cake to his stomach, 
and, it is said, subsisted on the imaginary sustenance 
it afforded him for the full term of his vow. If any 
one asked him to eat, he used to point to the wooden 
cake, and say that he had already dined, and that 
the remainder of his meal was attached to his 
stomach. One day in the dire pangs of hunger, it 
is said, he bit the wooden cake in the hope of satisfy- 
ing his appetite. The reputed marks of his teeth are 
shown on a piece of wood still preserved in Pak Pattan. 

Farid in his wanderings visited in A. d. 1244 the 
Girar hill in the Wardha district of Central India, and 
lived there for some time. Two travellers, who at first 
mocked him and subsequently felt the effects of his 
miraculous power, became his disciples. They died on 
the hill where their graves are still pointed out. 

Farid subsequently visited the hill of Datar in 
the state of Junagarh and abode there for some 
time. He was known under the name of Shakar 
Bhai. His fireplace near a spring called Qalandar 
ka chashma — the Qalandar's well — is still pointed out 
and revered by pilgrims. Hindu lepers visit the place 
to be healed of their malady, and in the event of suc- 
cess become Musalmans. Of such are the men in a 
temple on the slope of the hill, who have acquired 
several well-marked Muhammadan characteristics. 

His mother, finding that Farid on his return had 
not lost all remnants of pride, dismissed him to do 
penance for a third period of twelve years. This time, 
it is said, he caused himself to be suspended by the 
feet in a well. He used sometimes, when wearied 
by the unnatural position of his body, to go out and 
pray, and express his satisfaction with the Divine 
will. It is said that birds used to build their nests 
in his hair, and beasts of prey to peck at or devour 
his flesh. He composed the following couplet in 
reference to these circumstances :— 



Farid, thy body is on the stake ; thy head hath become 
a cage ; the crows peck at thy feet. 

If God come to me even now, happy shall be my lot. 

This couplet was subsequently expanded into 
the 90th, 91st, and 92nd sloks of Shaikh Brahm 
found in the Granth Sahib. After twelve years 
thus occupied it is said a voice called out to him, 
' God will grant any favour thou askest.' Farid 
replied that he only desired salvation. 

Farid, on being questioned why he had endured 
so much penance, said that he desired to save all the 
followers of Muhammad whom he could fold within 
his arms. His questioner replied, ' Thou canst fold 
only two men within thine arms.' Farid then 
stretched out his hands, whereupon one of them 
seemed to reach to the east and the other to the 
west, and he said, ' All persons within the circuit of 
my arms shall accept Islam and be saved.' His 
questioner stood abashed on hearing this and became 
his disciple. 

It is stated in the Gulshan-i-Auliya that God had 
an understanding with Farid, that He should give 
him three terms of life of forty years each. After 
the first forty years God said, ' Thou hast been 
searching for Me.' After the second forty God said, 
' Thou hast done My bidding.' After the third forty 
God again said, ' Thou hast done My bidding ; now 
I will do thine.' It would thus appear that after 
a holy career Farid died at the age of one hundred 
and twenty years. Other writers, however, as we 
shall see, assign the saint a shorter period of life. 

The fame of Farid' s miracles widely extended, and 
some men through envy became exceedingly hostile to 
him. Two darweshes, displeased at his high reputation 
for sanctity and thaumaturgy, came from a great 
distance to kill him. Farid spoke gently to his in- 
tended murderers, with the result that they departed 
fully satisfied that he was a great saint, and deserved 
praise rather than censure, long life rather than death. 



After that two saints arrived from Mount Lebanon 
to decide the question as to who was the spiritual 
ruler of India. On making Farid's acquaintance, 
they became so enamoured of the beauty and saintli- 
ness of his character, that they decided to pass the 
remainder of their lives in his service. Others arrived 
on the same errand and from the same locality, so it 
was said that Lebanon was denuded of its male 
population. Farid in due time dismissed them all, 
saying that Lebanon was the home of saints, and 
they ought not to abandon it. 

In the train of other holy men who came from 
Ghazni, Kabul, and the cities to the west of it to 
engage in missionary enterprise in India, was Ahmad 
Danyal of Bukhara 1 , the father of Nizam-ul-Din 
Auliya. Having stayed for some time at Lahore, 
Ahmad Danyal in a. d. 1234 proceeded to Badaun, 
then a famous city of Muhammadan learning. There, 
three years after his arrival, Nizam-ul-Din, originally 
called Muhammad, was born to him. Nizam-ul-Din 
was left an orphan at the age of five years. He was 
carefully and piously instructed by his mother 
Zulaikha, and in early youth showed such extra- 
ordinary ability, that he was known as Nizam-ul-Din 
Bahhas, or the Controversialist, and Mahfil-Shikan, 
the assembly-router. On arriving at manhood he 
was offered by the Emperor the coveted post of 
Qazi at Dihli, but, that being principally of a secular 
character, he preferred to embrace a religious life, and 
become a disciple of Farid. From him, according to 
Abul Fazal, author of the Ain-i-Akbari, he obtained 
the key of the treasury of inward illumination. 

Nizam-ul-Din had heard much of Farid, and longed 
to meet him and receive his spiritual instruction. 
Farid too was equally anxious to meet such a holy 
man. He said he had had an inspiration to confer 
the spiritual sovereignty of Hindustan on a man 

1 The Khulasal-ul-Tawarikh gives Ghazni as the birthplace of 
Ahmad Danyal. 



called Nizam-ul-Din. Accordingly, when the two 
holy men met, Farid gave Nizam-ul-Din his patched 
coat and wooden shoes, and appointed him head of 
the Muhammadan faith in India. He bade him be 
of good cheer and promised ever to assist him. On 
that occasion Farid made the following couplet : — 

The fire of separation from thee roasteth our hearts ; 
The torrent of thy love destroyeth our lives. 

These lines were intended to compliment Nizam- 
ul-Din on his personal popularity, and the love with 
which he inspired his associates. 

In the time of the Emperor Nasir-ul-Din there was 
a celebrated preacher called Afsah-ul-Din in Dihli. 
He visited Farid in Ajodhan to hold a religious con- 
troversy with him, and was encountered by Nizam- 
ul-Din, whom Farid deputed for the purpose. Nizam- 
ul-Din gave Afsah-ul-Din most unexpectedly clever 
and satisfactory replies to all his arguments, whereat 
he marvelled greatly and departed, saying, ' If the 
disciple is so, what must the master be ? ' Farid 
ultimately made Afsah-ul-Din a disciple of his. 

Farid used generally to reject offerings of money. 
One day the emperor presented him with two plates 
of gold coins. Farid would only accept two muhars 
out of the imperial offerings. Those he accepted 
were devoted to the purchase of provisions for his 
public kitchen ; the remainder he ordered to be dis- 
tributed among faqirs. In the process of distribu- 
tion two of the coins fell and were picked up by 
a disciple of Farid. Farid not observing this began 
to pray, but could not fix his thoughts on God. He 
knew therefore that some one in the assembly must 
have worldly dross on him. After much inquiry he 
became aware of the act of his disciple, and ordered 
him to throw away the coins immediately. It was 
only then that Farid could fix his attention on his 

As an example of Farid's frugal habits, the follow- 

b b 2 


ing anecdote is related. Nizam-ul-Din Auliya one day 
cooked some coarse lentils which he seasoned with 
borrowed salt. Farid ordered him to distribute the 
lentils and then give him his share. When it 
was brought to Farid, he said that it sa.voured of 
excessive expenditure. Nizam-ul-Din admitted that 
he had seasoned it with borrowed salt, whereupon 
Farid said he had done wrong. Food obtained in 
that way should not be eaten. Upon this Farid sent 
the food away. 

Farid accompanied Baha-ul-Din Zakaria at his 
request on another journey, namely, to the moun- 
tain of Qaf, the Caucasus. On descending therefrom 
they are said to have seen a man with a fiery dress 
riding on a fiery tiger, an allegory intended to repre- 
sent the burning zeal of the first propagators of 
Islam. The man put Farid behind him, and rode 
off with him for the conversion of the world. 

Farid, on returning to Ajodhan from his missionary 
journey, was hospitably received and entertained 
by Shaikh Nasir Ulla's mother, a widow named Bibi 
Um-i-Qulsum, whom he afterwards married. She 
brought him valuable building land to the west of 
the town. Farid cherished Nasir Ulla, and educated 
and brought him up as his own son. 

During Farid's absence in the Caucasus a Jogi 
gained great spiritual ascendancy over the people 
of Ajodhan, and made many converts among them. 
In due time they all returned to Farid, who promptly 
repaired the mischief that had been done, and re- 
stored his flock to their former spiritual allegiance. 

The Emperor Nasir-ul-Din deputed Nawab Alif 
Khan to present Farid with a large sum of money in 
gold and a perpetual grant of the revenue of four 
villages. Farid refused both the money and the grant, 
and told Alif Khan to take them to those who needed 
them. If he himself accepted them, he would no 
longer be reckoned a darwesh. Men would upbraid 
him for his worldliness, and on the day of judgement 



he would not be allowed to take his place in the 
ranks of the elect. On this occasion Farid cited the 
precepts and example of his priest Qutub-ul-Din 
Bakhtiyar Ushi. Once the Emperor Shams-ul-Din 
Altmish sent him a dish of gold and silver coins and 
a lease of six villages. Qutub-ul-Din rejected the 
royal offerings, saying that none of his predecessors 
had ever accepted such things, and, were he to do so, 
he would be no true follower of theirs. 

When Nawab Alif Khan was on his return journey 
to Dihli, it occurred to him that the Emperor Nasir- 
ul-Din had no heir, and he reflected that, if he could 
secure Farid' s intercession, he might become emperor 
himself. He therefore returned to Farid who gave 
him the following verses : — 

The great Faridun was not an angel ; 
He was not constructed out of rose-water and ambergris ; 
He obtained greatness by his justice and generosity. 
Dispense thou justice and generosity, and thou shalt be 
even as Faridun. 

Alif Khan receiving these lines joyfully returned 
to Dihli, and ultimately, on the death of Nasir-ul-Din, 
was saluted emperor under the title of Ghiyas-ul-Din 
Balban. 1 

Farid went to Dihli during the life-time of Nasir- 
ul-Din and received a most hospitable reception. 
The Emperor introduced him to his queens and 
made them his disciples. While in the female apart- 
ments Farid's glance fell on Hazabra, the Emperor's 
daughter. Farid first looked at her, and then looked 
up to heaven. He inquired whose daughter she 
was, and on being duly informed took his departure. 
The Emperor understood Farid's desire, and sent 
his prime minister to offer him Hazabra in marriage. 
Farid, who had already made up his mind on the 
subject, said that God, the Prophet, and the elders 
of the Chishtis had all given him orders to ally 

1 Jawahir-i-Farldi. 


himself with the Emperor's daughter. He averred 
that he had seen a sign on Hazabra's forehead that 
she was intended for him. Upon that occasion Farid 
addressed God—' Thou hast drawn away my heart 
from Thy love, and inclined it in another direction.' 
God is said to have replied—' Perform the marriage 
for the love of my friend the Prophet.' Farid 
prayed God to pardon him. God again replied— 
' I have an object in this. When sons are born to 
thee, it shall be to the advantage of thy people, and 
they shall be pardoned.' Farid, still anxious on the 
subject, urged, ' If any of my descendants sin, I shall 
be called to account in Thy court.' God replied, 
' Keep the good children thyself, and entrust the 
bad ones to Me.' 

Farid and the Emperor's daughter were duly 
married. The Emperor sent three hundred servants 
to wait on her. Of these Farid only allowed her to 
retain two men and two women. The first night 
the lady richly apparelled, lay on a gorgeous couch. 
Farid produced his prayer-carpet, and slept on it on 
the ground near her. Next day she told her nurse 
that Farid had not approached her. The nurse 
remonstrated with him on the subject. He replied 
that he did not approve of the regal style the lady 
had adopted. She must sell her jewels and rich 
dresses, devote the price of them to God's service, 
and wear the habit of a darwesh. When the lady 
received this message, she said she would do as her 
husband had ordered. She accordingly devoted the 
proceeds of the sale of her jewels and dresses to the 
relief of the poor. Farid then procured for her wear 
a coarse jacket of a dirty brown colour, black 
paejamas, green glass bangles, and a pewter nose-ring. 
The Emperor was not pleased that his daughter 
should appear in such mean habiliments, and again 
supplied her with new clothes and jewellery to wear 
instead of what she had rejected at her husband's 
desire. The new articles she again gave to the 



poor. A third time the Emperor sent her what he 
deemed suitable apparel and ornaments, but she and 
her husband parted with them as before. The 
Emperor continued to send her presents, but they 
were only a source of disagreement between her hus- 
band and herself. At last the lady proposed that 
they should leave Dihli and proceed to Pak Pattan. 
This was agreed upon. Fafid left his brother Najib- 
ul-Din to do spiritual duty for him in Dihli. It may 
be here stated that the females of the shrine are still 
married in dresses similar to what Farid procured 
for his wife. After the honeymoons raiment more 
suitable to their worldly position is adopted. 

The Emperor's daughter bore Farid five sons— 
Badr-ul-Din, Shahab-ul-Din, Nizam-ul-Din, Yaqub, 
and Abdulla Shah ; and three daughters— Fatima, 
Mastura, and Sharifa. In the Itrat-i-Faridi it is 
stated that Farid had a third wife named Najib-ul- 
Nissa, sister of Shaikh Zakaria, and we shall subse- 
quently see that he procured a fourth wife on the 
Panjab mountains. 

Farid being once very ill sent Nizam-ul-Din and 
other darweshes to a cemetery to pray for him. 
The idea was and is, that prayers offered in the 
presence of men who have gone to God, are acceptable 
and successful. The prayer, however, proved of no 
avail. Upon this one of the darweshes remarked 
that the prayers of the worthless were of no advantage 
to the perfect, that is, the prayers of ordinary dar- 
weshes could not benefit Farid. This expression was 
subsequently repeated to Farid by Nizam-ul-Din. 
Farid was pleased with the compliment and, it is 
said, granted Nizam-ul-Din supernatural power. 
Nizam-ul-Din then returned to the cemetery, prayed 
for Farid's recovery, and on his return found him 
in perfect health. 

To show the spiritual and social position held by 
the family it is related that Farid addressed his cousin 
as ' Hazrat Ghaus Shaikh Baha-ul-Din Zakaria ' 


His cousin addressed him in reply, ' Mashuq-i-Khuda 
wa ashik-i-zat-i-Kibria Farid, fard-i-alam, Shah 
Shakar Ganj Ajodhani Chishti '—Beloved of God and 
loving the Almighty Being, Farid, unique in the 
world, king, treasury of sugar, Chishti of Ajodhan. 

Shaikh Badr-ul-Din, descended from a noble family 
of Ghazni, was a disciple of Qutub-ul-Din of Dihli. 
Farid, highly impressed 'with Badr-ul-Din' s reputa- 
tion for sanctity, went one day to visit him. Badr- 
ul-Din had nothing for him to eat, so he sent his 
coarse blanket to the market to be sold for whatever 
it would fetch, in order to provide a meal for his 
distinguished guest. Malik Nizam-ul-Din, a different 
person from the Nizam-ul-Din Auliya with whom we 
have been concerned, made a monastery for Shaikh 
Badr-ul-Din, who was pleased to reside in it, and 
dispense to the poor the provisions which Nizam-ul- 
Din had provided for them in abundance. It hap- 
pened that this Nizam-ul-Din subsequently in some 
way offended the Emperor and was imprisoned. 
Badr-ul-Din wrote to Farid to pray to God for his 
release. Farid refused on the ground that Nizam- 
ul-Din had constructed a monastery for self- 
aggrandizement, a course which was not in accord- 
ance with the humble practice of his predecessors 
who sought retirement and self-effacement. 

There was a religious man called Shams Dabir who 
lived in great indigence in Sunam in the present state 
of Patiala. He wrote some verses in praise of Farid, 
and went to him to recite them. Farid on hearing 
the eulogium asked the poet what he wanted. Shams 
Dabir replied that he was very poor, and had not 
wherewithal to support his aged mother. Farid 
replied that he gave not money, but he would pray 
very fervently for him. Shams Dabir ultimately 
became secretary to the Emperor's prime minister. 

The Emperor Ala-ul-Din Masaud made Hamid, 
a learned man, his viceroy of Bengal. One day as 
Hamid was standing with clasped hands before the 



Emperor, a form of light appeared to him, and asked 
why he was standing in a suppliant attitude before 
a fool. The same question was asked Hamid the 
next day, and the next day again. Upon this 
he resigned his post and proceeded to Ajodhan, 
whither he was attracted by Farid's spiritual power. 
On reaching Farid's dwelling, he fell down and 
kissed his threshold. When Farid had heard his 
story, he made him his disciple, and gave him the 
patched coat of a Khalifa. Hamid remained for 
some time with Farid, and became a very eloquent 
preacher. Farid often called him a bright particular 
star, but at the same time remarked that a star looks 
not bright in the presence of the sun— a subtle com- 
pliment to himself. Farid suggested that he should 
return, and live in the town of Andina near Dihli, and 
benefit God's people by his preaching. Hamid, 
however, stated that his intention was rather to 
make a pilgrimage to Makka and Madina, the cities 
hallowed by the residence of his Prophet. Upon 
this Farid allowed him to take his departure. 

Maulana Badr-ul-Din, son of Saiyid Minhaj-ul-Din 
Najjari, 1 was professor of Arabic in the Muhammadan 
college of Dihli. In the course of his theological 
studies he encountered several difficulties for which 
he could receive no satisfactory solution from the 
holy men of his acquaintance. He therefore resolved 
to travel to Bukhara, then the seat of some of the 
greatest Muhammadan scholars of the age. He went 
by Multan, whose learned men also he wished to 
consult. On the way he met some pious hermits, 
one of whom was a disciple of Farid, and had Farid's 
name ever on his tongue. Badr-ul-Din, after a short 
conference with him, told him he was wasting his 
time in such occupation. The disciple said he could 
not help it, for Farid's name issued spontaneously 
from his lips. The disciple and his friends then 

1 In the English translation of the Ain-i-AkdariB\iTsten is found for 


suggested to Badr-ul-Din to pay Shaikh Farid a visit, 
and perhaps he would solve some of his difficulties. 
Badr-ul-Din replied that he had met several Shaikhs, 
that they were merely impostors, and that men 
wasted their time in converse with them. The 
disciple and his friends argued the matter with Badr- 
ul-Din, and represented to him that he could only 
appreciate Shaikh Farid's merits when he had made 
his acquaintance. Badr-ul-Din at last gave way, and 
was conducted by his casual friends to Farid. Farid 
solved his theological difficulties in a satisfactory 
manner, and then made him his disciple. Upon this 
Badr-ul-Din decided not to proceed to Bukhara, but 
remain in Ajodhan with Farid. He became so 
humble that he used to wait on holy men, cut fire- 
wood in the forest, and cook their food with it. He 
was at the same time very attentive to his devotions, 
and used to mortify his body with fasting. 

Once, when there was a marriage in Pak Pattan, 
Badr-ul-Din, on seeing the relations of the bride 
draw water with which to bathe the bride and bride- 
groom according to ancient custom, thought that 
if he were in his own country and among his people 
his own marriage also might be duly celebrated. 

Sometime afterwards Badr-ul-Din proceeded on 
a pilgrimage to Makka and Madina. On his return 
Farid informed him of the thoughts which had passed 
through his mind on seeing water drawn to bathe 
the bride and bridegroom, and said he could either 
have a temporal or a permanent marriage, as he 
deemed most advantageous. By permanent marriage 
Farid meant death, as among the ancient Greeks ; 
and if Badr-ul-Din desired it, not only water but milk 
and sugar should ever be offered at his shrine, and 
the fame of such a marriage should resound both in 
earth and heaven. 

It would appear from the Jawahir-i-Faridi that 
Badr-ul-Din accepted both forms of marriage. Farid 
gave him his daughter Fatima in marriage. He also 



made him his chamberlain with the title of Badr- 
ul-Diwan. Whenever Farid spoke to him on the 
subject of appointing him to a position corresponding 
with that of bishop in partibus infidelium, he used 
to reply that he desired to live for ever under Farid's 
shadow. Farid built him a house near the great 
mosque of the city, and there he lived in the service 
of God. After his death a mausoleum was erected 
over his remains. As promised by Shaikh Farid, his 
marriage ceremonies are celebrated once a year by 
a fair held on the sixth day of the month Jamadi ul 
Sani, when copious libations of sharbat are offered 
at his shrine. 

One day as Farid awoke from a trance, he said, ' The 
eye which looketh not towards God had better be 
blind ; the tongue which uttereth not His name had 
better be dumb ; the ear which heareth not His 
praises had better be deaf; and the body which 
performeth not His service had better be dead.' 
After this utterance Farid relapsed into his trance. 

Once seven hundred holy men were sitting together. 
An inquirer put them four questions to which they 
gave identically the same replies — 

Q. i. Who is the wisest of men ? A. He who refraineth 
from sin. 

Q. 2. Who is the most intelligent ? A. He who is not 
disconcerted at anything. 

Q. 3. Who is the most independent? A. He who 
practise th contentment. 

Q. 4. Who is the most needy ? A. He who practiseth it 

The following sentences are taken from Farid's 
sermons : — 

God hesitateth to raise His hand against His creatures. 
Be not overjoyed with worldly wealth, and, if thou have 
none at all, be not depressed. 
The day we obtain not our desires should be to us as 


a time of rejoicing like the night of the Prophet's ascension 
into heaven. 

Man should not allow his ambition to be cooled by the 
discouraging remarks of the world. 

When a faqir putteth on rich clothes, they become his 

Of all attractions, attraction towards devotion is the best. 

It fareth well with him who thinketh on his own faults 
and not on the faults of others. 

To the pure all things are pure ; nothing can defile 

If you aspire to attain the dignity of the departed saints, 
bow not to monarchs. 

The learned man is the most noble among men, and the 
holy man the most noble among noblemen. 

The holy man among the learned is like the full moon 
among the stars. 

The most contemptible of men is he who occupieth him- 
self with eating and dressing. 

The repetition of the following lines gave great 
spiritual comfort to Farid : — 

Last night sad thoughts possessed me, 
But afterwards I reflected on my beautiful Lover. 
I said I would do everything to go to His door. 
My tears ran, and my Lover then caught my sleeve. 

A student asked Farid if singing were lawful and 
proper. He replied that, according to the Muham- 
madan religion, it was certainly unlawful, but its 
propriety was still a matter of discussion. 

Nizam-ul-Din Auliya told Nasir-ul-Din, a disciple 
of his, that one day when he went to visit Farid he 
stood at his door, and saw him dancing as he sang 
the following : — 

I wish ever to live in Thy love, O God. 
If I become the dust under Thy feet, I shall live. 
I Thy slave desire none but Thee in both worlds ; 
For Thee I will live and for Thee I will die. 



The following was a favourite couplet of Farid : — 

Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's 

There are not pearls in every sea ; there is not gold in 
every mine. 

One of Farid's beloved friends was Shaikh Jamal- 
ul-Din of Hansi, whom he called his senior Khalifa. 
Hazrat Shaikh Baha-ul-Din Zakaria of Multan, hear- 
ing of this man's fame, begged Farid to lend him to 
him to preach to the faithful. Farid refused, but, 
when pressed by Jamal-ul-Din, who was attracted 
to Baha-ul-Din by supernatural influence, replied, 
' Go and blacken thy face.' It is said that upon this 
Jamal-ul-Din's face became black, and he fled to the 
forest to hide himself from human gaze. Farid for- 
bade all persons to intercede for him or assist him 
in any way. It happened that, as a man called Alim 
was going to Ajodhan from Multan, he met Jamal- 
ul-Din on the way. Jamal-ul-Din begged him to 
intercede with Farid, and he did so. Lapse of time 
and importunity caused Farid to relent. He wrote 
to Jamal-ul-Din the four following lines and then 
restored him to favour : — 

Go round the world, and in wandering raise blisters on 
thy feet ; 

If thou find any one like me, then forsake me. 

Come one morning with pure heart to my door ; 

If thou attain not thine object, then make complaint. 

Jamal-ul-Din returned to Farid, and Farid's love 
for him increased after the rupture. Jamal-ul-Din 
was a descendant of Abu Hanifa of Kusa. 

Farid visited Mokalhar, now called Faridkot in 
honour of the saint. The country was then ruled by 
Mokal. At the time of Farid's visit, Mokal was build- 
ing his capital, and used to impress all visitors for the 
work. Though Farid wore the patched coat of a re- 


ligious man, he too was pressed into the Raja's service. 
The masons and workmen on making Farid's acquaint- 
ance bowed at his feet, and prayed him to grant them 
forgiveness of their sins. The Raja too followed their 
example, and for some days personally waited on him. 
Farid asked what name the king was going to give his 
city. The king replied Mokalhar. Then said Farid, 
' Berun khair wa andarun darr '— it is fair without, 
but a ruin 1 within— by which the saint meant that 
it should never be thoroughly inhabited. The king 
represented his hard fate to Farid. Though thousands 
of rupees had been spent on his capital, no one came 
to dwell in it. If his holiness Farid ordered, it should 
soon be full of inhabitants. Farid then told him to 
change the name and dwell in it himself. Mokal con- 
sented and called the city Faridkot in compliment to 
his holy guest. Farid then said, ' Go, God the most 
high will cause thee and thy descendants to abide in 
that fort.' 

There is a legend that Farid once visited a city on 
the Panjab mountains. One day, as he was bathing, 
a beautiful young lady accidentally saw and con- 
ceived a desire to approach him, for a son by such 
a man should become king of the realm of beauty. 
It is said that Jamila Khatun — the beautiful lady — 
while revolving this in her mind, became pregnant. 
After Farid's departure there was great commotion 
in the tribe on hearing of the young lady's condition. 
She averred that she had committed no impropriety, 
but no one would believe her. Every one said it was 
of course that stranger Farid's doing. Farid chanced 
to return to that part of the country six months 
afterwards. He was charged with the young lady's 
seduction, which, apart from being a sin, was a 
grievous offence against the tribe. He solemnly 
denied the charge, but no one would accept his state- 
ment. He requested his accusers to ask the lady if 
she had ever conceived a desire to have a child by 
1 Darr is so understood in Faridkot. 



him. She then admitted that such a desire had 
arisen in her mind. Upon this Farid, in self-defence, 
instanced the well-known case of Jesus having been 
born without a human father, and also the case of 
Adam, who had been produced without father or 
mother, and said that nothing was impossible to 
God's Omnipotence, and He might in His mercy 
have given a son to the virgin. The tribe heeded 
not Farid's words, and said they would only believe 
him if he wrought a miracle in their presence. They 
found no difficulty in suggesting a subject. They 
told him that no sugar-cane grew in their country. 
If he went with them to the forest and caused sugar 
to rain, they would accept his story of the young lady's 
immaculate pregnancy, but not otherwise. Farid 
then said in the Persian language, which he habitually 
spoke, ' Chi ajab az Afridgare ki zan-i-bikr ra az 
qudrat-i-kamila-i-khud hamila be wasta shohar 
sakht, az asman shakar nisar farmayad ? ' What 
wonder would it be if the Creator, who out of His 
perfect power maketh a virgin pregnant without 
human intervention, should rain sugar ? It is said 
that sugar immediately began to rain, and from that 
time Farid obtained the name of Shakar Ganj, the 
treasury of sugar. 1 After this miracle all the people 
of the tribe became his followers, and he was formally 
wedded to Jamila Khatun, who soon afterwards 
gave birth to a son. Farid remained there for six 
months, during which time he fasted forty days. 
He locked up the house in which he had dwelt, 
saying that his successor would open it, and then 
returned to Ajodhan. 

As his successor Diwan Taj-ul-Din was returning 
from a pilgrimage to Makka and Madina, he hap- 
pened to visit that part of the country. He asked 
the people to what tribe they belonged. They said 
that they were descendants of Qutub-ul-Alam Baba 

1 Farishta, the Persian historian, has given other reasons for the 
appellation. Vide vol. II, p. 288. Lakhnau edition. 


Farid Shakar Ganj. He inquired from which of 
Farid's sons they were descended. They replied 
that they had not come in that way, but had been 
miraculously born. When Taj-ul-Din had heard the 
whole story, he unlocked the door of Farid's hut. 
The people were delighted to see Taj-ul Din, and 
became his followers in large numbers. 

Farid died of pneumonia on the fifth day of the 
month of Muharrim, a.h. 664 (a.d. 1266). The 
date of Farid's death is commemorated by the 
chronograms (a) ' Farid asari,' (b) ' auliyae Khudai ' — 
He was unique, a saint of God. 1 Farid's last words 
were in Arabic, ' Ya hayyo, ya qayyum'— O ever 
living, 0 eternal God ! At the last word ' qayyum ' 
Farid expired. 

Farid was to have been buried outside the town 
of Pak Pattan at a place called the Martyrs' graves, 
where he had first alighted on his arrival, but 
his son Makhdum Khwaja Nizam-ul-Din arrived 
in time to alter the proposed arrangement. This 
son who had been a general in the Emperor's army, 
was then living in retreat at Patali. As he lay 
asleep one night before his father's death, he thought 
he heard his father calling him. He arose and went 
to Ajodhan, but, as the gates of the town were all 
locked at the time, he could not gain access to Farid's 
dwelling. Farid knew of his son's arrival, but it 
was too late to see him. ' His advice, however,' 
said Farid, ' should be taken in all matters regarding 
my funeral and burial.' The son advised that the 
family should wait for Nizam-ul-Din Auliya from 
Dihli, and expressed his intention of temporarily 
burying his father in the house where he had lived, 
and where subsequently his eldest son Khwaja 
Shahab-ul-Din was buried. 

On the arrival of Nizam-ul-Din Auliya from 
Dihli, he had a mausoleum erected for Farid. He 

1 Farishtaand the author of the Khulasat-uUTawarikh give different 
dates, but they are proved false by the chronograms. 



directed that the Quran should be read over clean 
bricks, that the reader should then blow on them 
and employ them for the construction of Farid's 
grave. This direction was obeyed. The Hafizes 
and the Khalifas read the Quran over bricks con- 
secrated as directed, and made Farid's grave with 
them. A shrine was built with stone windows on 
the east and north sides for women to see through, 
and with a door on the south side to be called the 
bihishti darwaza, or gate of paradise, for men to 
enter by. The body was then exhumed from its 
temporary grave, and after being well perfumed 
placed within the mausoleum thus constructed. It 
is said that the souls of Muhammad and all the 
Muhammadan saints appeared on the occasion. At 
the advice of Nizam-ul-Din Auliya, the stone win- 
dow at the east was broken at Farid's re-interment 
to admit of the exit of the souls of the Prophet and 
his saints. Where the soul of Muhammad had 
taken up its position within the mausoleum, there 
was a hujra or small chapel built, called Qadam 
Rasul or the Prophet's footsteps. Nizam-ul-Diri 
then stated that he had received a message from the 
departed Farid, that God would pardon and save 
from hell all who passed through the paradisal gate. 
This was everywhere proclaimed from the rising to 
the setting of the sun. Some persons, however, 
who had no internal eyes, refused to believe that 
the gate possessed such supreme efficacy. Upon 
this Nizam-ul-Din said to the Prophet, ' If the 
populace be allowed to behold thee, their spiritual 
darkness shall be dispelled.' It is said that the 
Prophet then appeared to the whole multitude, and 
not a scintilla of doubt remained in any one's mind 
as to the advantages to be obtained from passing 
through the sacred portal. 

It was subsequently ordered that women should 
pray at the stone window on the north side, and 
that a wall should be built outside it to secure their 



privacy. The door opening to the east was then 
called the door of light. It is that by which men 
generally enter and leave the shrine. 

After Farid's death his son Badr-ul-Din Sulaiman 
succeeded him in his spiritual, and Saiyid Maulvi 
Badr-ul-Din Ishaq in his temporal duties. Envious 
persons set the two Badr-ul-Dins at variance, upon 
which Nizam-ul-Din Auliya came from Dihli and 
made peace between them. 

We have mentioned the Rahat-ul-Qulub as one 
of our authorities for the life of Farid. The first 
entry in it was made on the nth of the month 
Rajab, A. H. 655 (a. d. 1254) '> and tne last on tne 
25th of Safar, a. h. 656. The diary thus shows 
Farid's acts and conversations for the space of 
eleven months. We shall here give some extracts 
from it. 

Farid considered that faqiri or holiness consisted 
in four things, namely, to be blind to the faults of 
Muhammadans, to be deaf to slander, to be dumb 
when evil speaking is suggested, and to be lame 
when there is a desire to visit evil places. 

On one occasion Shaikh Badr-ul-Din of Ghazni, 
Jamal-ul-Din of Hansi, Sharaf-ul-Din of Nabha, 1 
and Qazi Hamid-ul-Din of Nagaur met at Farid's 
house. Farid dilated to them on the virtues of 
hospitality, and said it was proper for a host to give 
something to every guest whether he received an 
equivalent or not. 

At a religious conference at Farid's house, where 
were assembled Maulvi Hamid-ul-Din of Nagaur, 
Shaikh Shams-ul-Din, Shaikh Burhan-ul-Din, and 
others, Shaikh Farid mentioned an expression in 
the Hadis, or traditional sayings of the Prophet, 
that love of the world was the source of all 
evil. A man called Shaikh Abdulla Suhel of Tastar 
said that God and man were all one. There was 
no difference between them except that, in propor- 
1 Nabha, so in the original. 



tion as man loved the world, he fell away from God. 
Farid expressed his concurrence with this state- 
ment, and added that the heart was like a mirror, 
and love of mammon was as rust on it, which should 
be removed by the file of God's love. Land covered 
with tares and thistles produced no good crop until 
they were eradicated. Faqirs should remain aloof 
from the world, and not visit even kings and nobles. 

Once when the king of Iraq was ill, he sent for 
Abdulla Suhel to treat him. Suhel cured him, but 
thought it necessary to expiate the offence of visiting 
a king by living a life of absolute retirement for 
seven years. The friendship of wealthy men was in 
his opinion as poison for holy men. When a holy 
man associates with such men, his influence on others 
is injurious to them. Abdulla defined the word 
tariqat— a spiritual stage of Muhammadans— to 
mean absolute disregard for the things of this world. 

Farid said he had lived for ten years with the 
saint Abu Yusuf Chishti, and during that time had 
never moved a foot in the direction of a king or 
noble, except on Fridays when he went to pray, 
for prayers should be said in common on the Sab- 
bath. He thought that whenever a faqir has 
visited a monarch, his patched coat and hat ought 
afterwards to be burned in order to remove the 
contagion of wealth and pride. 

It is not surprising to hear that a man of Farid' s 
sanctity and force of character made many converts 
among the Hindus within the reach of his influence. 
The Bahlis, the Sirhangs, the Jhakars, and the 
Adankans are enumerated among the tribes whom 
he induced to accept Islam. 

When Badr-ul-Din Sulaiman, Farid's son, suc- 
ceeded him, he was invested with the turban which 
Farid himself had received from Shaikh Abdul 
Qadir Jilani (Hazrat Ghaus). The turban was of 
three colours, saffron at one end, brown at the 
other, and white in the centre. Nizam-ul-Din 

c c 2 


purchased several white turbans, and steeped them 
with Abdul Qadir Jilani's in the same pot. The 
object of this was that Abdul Qadir Jilani's turban 
might communicate some of its virtues to the white 
turbans, and that the latter after such contact 
might confer blessings on Farid's disciples and 
friends, when they bound them on their heads. 
When Badr-ul-Din had put on Abdul Qadir Jilani's 
turban, and Farid's disciples and friends the white 
turbans, the whole company went outside the gate 
of paradise and sat down. Sweets were produced, 
and a priest read texts from the Quran over them. 
They were then distributed for the repose of the 
souls of the Chishti Khwajas to whom Farid 
spiritually belonged. 

This custom is still observed by the followers of 
Farid. On the approach of the Muharrim, the 
Quran is read over a jug of sharbat for the souls of 
ancestors, and the sharbat is then distributed among 
the faithful. When the Muharrim begins, there is 
singing after breakfast, to which the high priest 
listens on his carpet of prayer. The whole audience 
then enters on a state of exaltation. The priest puts 
on a turban like Farid's, and binds white turbans on 
the heads of his brethren and disciples. On the 
fifth day of the Muharrim he opens the ' Gate of para- 
dise', and the crowd enters with a rush, in the hope 
that, when they cross the barrier, they shall secure 
in reality the bliss of the elect. 

The gate of paradise is a small door in the shrine, 
which is only opened twice a year, and on both 
occasions at night. In our time the crowd which 
passes through, shouting ' Haji Qutub Farid', or 
simply ' Farid', to maintain their fervour, has been 
estimated sometimes at thirty thousand souls. To 
reach the gate of paradise three outer portals have 
to be traversed. Among the immense crowd there is 
a rivalry to reach heaven in the shortest time, not 
by good deeds, but by physical strength ; and in 



the struggle numbers are continually maimed, and 
some aged and infirm persons occasionally killed. 
Were not a large force of police, generally reinforced 
from neighbouring districts, marched to the shrine 
to maintain order, great indeed would be the destruc- 
tion of human life at this religious ceremony. Men 
are not content to pass the gate for themselves, they 
return again and again to vicariously conduct their 
female relatives to the abode of bliss, and this 
reiterated service increases the crowd, the confusion, 
and the danger to human life. 

On the seventh day of the Muharrim there is again 
singing, the reading of the Quran is finished, and 
the gate of paradise is left open. On the tenth of 
the month Farid's mausoleum is washed and per- 
fumed within and without. 

In the month of Ramzan the banners which 
Abdul Qadir Jilani received from Madina and gave 
to Farid, are taken out and fitted with new cloth. 
The high priest's followers present him with an 
ordinary coat and a patched coat— meaning thereby 
temporal and spiritual raiment. When he puts 
them on, the prayers appointed for the Id in the 
end of Ramzan are read. Farid's cup, stick, and 
rosary are then produced and prayers offered. The 
high priest with a rosary in one hand and Farid's 
staff in the other begs for alms, upon which his 
followers present him with cakes of sugar, almonds, 
and coco-nuts. Such offerings are afterwards dis- 
tributed among the poor. 

It remains to add a few words regarding Nizam- 
ul-Din Auliya, the author of the Rahat-ul-Qulub 
and Farid's faithful friend and disciple. He states 
that he visited Ajodhan three times during the life 
of Farid, and Farid charged him with the education 
of his children. 

Subsequently Nizam-ul-Din was sent by Farid as 
Khalifa or spiritual ruler of Hindustan, and in that 
capacity amassed great wealth and became known 


as Zar-i-zar Baft— woven, or altogether, of gold, 
a name given him by Bu Ali Shah, a religious man 
of Panipat. 

It is probable that Nizam-ul-Pin's great wealth 
aroused the jealousy of Mubarak Khilji, who ascended 
the Dihli throne in a. d. 1317. He summoned 
Shaikh Rukn-ul-Din from Multan in the hope of 
counteracting Nizam-ul-Din's unquestionably great 
influence with the people. Nizam-ul-Din went forth 
to meet the man who had been chosen as his anta- 
gonist, and produced a highly favourable impression 
on him. When the Emperor afterwards asked 
Rukn-ul-Din who had been the principal person to 
go forth and welcome him to Dihli, Rukn-ul-Din 
replied ' The foremost man of the age by which 
he meant Nizam-ul-Din. The Emperor after this 
testimony to Nizam-ul-Din's greatness withdrew his 
opposition to him, and allowed him to dwell in 
peace. 1 

The imperial hostility to Nizam-ul-Din descended 
to Ghiyas-ul-Din Tughlak, one of the successors of 
Mubarak Khilji. When Ghiyas-ul-Din was return- 
ing from his expedition to Bengal, he no longer 
desired to see Nizam-ul-Din, and ordered him to 
leave the city. Nizam-ul-Din had no alternative 
but to obey, but decided to do so at leisure. He 
said to his friends ' Hanoz Dihli dur ast ' —Dihli is 
still far off— by which he meant that the Emperor 
should never reach Dihli. The Emperor on his 
homeward march put up in a house at Afghanpur, 
hastily constructed for his reception by his son 
Alaf Khan. The house fell upon the monarch and 
killed him in A. d. 1325. The Emperor's death was 
popularly attributed to his hostility to the saint. 
Nizam-ul-Din's expression ' Dihli is far off ' has 
passed into a proverb. 2 It corresponds to the 

1 Ain-i-Akbari. 

2 Farishta gives many details of Nizam-ul-Din which it is not 
necessary to reproduce here. 



English saying, ' There is many a slip 'twixt the 
cup and the lip.' Nizam-ul-Din himself died the 
same year as the Emperor. 

Nizam-ul-Din, notwithstanding his worldly suc- 
cess, raised many men in Dihli, Bengal, Chanderi, 
Malwa, Bihar, Ujjain, Gujrat, and the Dakhan to 
the heights of spiritual sanctity. Having conferred 
his khalifaship on Khwaja Hazrat Nasir-ul-Din 
Chiragh, he died in Dihli on Wednesday, the 18th 
day of Rabi ul Sani, a. h. 725, A. d. 1325, that is, 
sixty years after the death of his beloved priest. 1 
He was buried in a quarter then known as Ghyaspur. 
He wrote the following Persian lines in praise of 
Farid : — 

Pir-i-man pirest maulana Farid ; 
Hamchu o dar sihar Maula na-farid. 
My priest is the holy Farid ; 
God created no one in the world like him. 


Miscellaneous Religious Instruction :— 


Saith Shaikh Farid, my dear friends, attach yourselves 
to God. 

This body shall become dust and its abode be the un- 
honoured grave. 2 

To-day God can be met, Shaikh Farid, if thou restrain 
the feelings which agitate thy mind. 

Had I known that I should die and not return again, 

I would not have devoted myself to this false world and 
ruined myself. 

1 The Khulasat-ul-Tawarikh gives the date of his death as a.h. 710. 
We accept in preference the date given in the Aln-i-Akbari. 

2 Nimani gor is a common expression in the writings of Farid. 
Nimani is not an epithet of the body as some suppose. 


Honestly spsak the truth ; utter not falsehood. 
The disciple ought to travel by the way the guru pointeth 

When the lover 1 is saved, the heart of the beloved 2 
taketh courage. 

Thou who turnest to the glitter of gold shalt be split 
in twain by the saw. 

0 Shaikh, no man's life is permanent in this world ; 
How many have sat on the seats on which we sit ! 

As kulangs come in Kartik, forest fires in Chet, lightning 
in Sawan, 

As woman's arms adorn her husband's neck in winter, 
So transitory things pass away ; reflect on this in thy 

Man taketh six months to form 3 and one moment to 
break up. 

The earth asked heaven, 4 saith Farid, how many pilots 5 
had passed away ; 

Some have been burnt, others are in the cemeteries, and 
their souls suffer reproaches from the angels of Death. 

Farid' s longing to meet God : — 


On account of the severe burning of high fever induced 
by separation from God, I wring my hands ; 

1 have grown crazy longing for my Spouse. 

Thou, 0 Spouse, wast angry with me in Thy heart : 
It was through my demerits, and not my Spouse's fault. 
My Lord, I did not know Thy worth ; 
I have lost my youth and repent too late. 

0 black kokil, why art thou black ? 

1 Chhail, literally — a handsome young man ; here the reference is 
to the elect. 

2 Gori, a handsome young woman ; here the reference is to those 
who are striving for perfection. 

3 That is, the foetus is formed after six months in the womb. 

4 That is, the disciples asked the guru, 

5 Religious guides. 


The kokil — ' I have been burnt by separation from my 
Beloved ; 

Can she who is separated from her Beloved ever be 
happy ? ' 

If the Lord be merciful, He will cause me to meet Him. 
Painful is the well 1 into which lone woman 2 hath fallen ; 
She hath no companions and no helper. 
Thou hast mercifully, O God, caused me to meet Thy 
saints ; 

When I look again, God is my helper. 
My way is thoroughly tedious ; 

It is sharper than a two-edged sword and very narrow ; 
Over that is my passage ; 

Shaikh Farid, prepare thyself betimes for that road. 


The day that woman was to be married was previously 
fixed. 3 

The Spouse, the angel of Death of whom we have heard, 
hath come to show his face ; 

Having cracked the bones of the body he will take away 
the poor soul. 

The time recorded cannot be altered ; 4 explain this to 
thy soul. 

The soul is the bride, death the bridegroom ; he will 
marry her and take her away. 

As she goeth, whose neck shall she run to embrace with 
her arms ? 5 

Have you not heard of the bridge of Sarat, which is 
finer than a hair ? 

Farid, when the summons cometh, arise and deceive 
yourselves not. 

1 That is, the world. 2 The soul. 

3 Marriage here means death. 4 Man shall live his allotted span. 

5 Whose help shall the soul seek at the last moment ! 



Farid, since I walk in the way of the world, it is difficult 
to be like the darwesh at God's gate. 1 

I have tied and taken up my bundle of worldliness ; 
whither shall I go to throw it away ? 


I know nothing, I see nothing, the world is a smouldering 
fire ; 

My master did well to warn me, otherwise I too should 
have been burnt. 


Farid, had I known my sesames 2 were to be so few, 
I should have husbanded my handfuls ; 

Had I known that the Bridegroom 3 was so young, I 
should have been less vain. 


Had I known that my dress 4 was opening, I should have 
put a fast knot on it. 5 

So great as Thou I have found none ; I have seen and 
wandered the world over. 


Farid, if thou have acute wisdom, write not a black 
mark against others. 

Bend thy head and look beneath thy collar. 6 


Farid, if men beat thee with their fists, beat them not 
in return ; 
Nay, kiss their feet and go home. 

1 That is, it is difficult for worldly people to be holy. 2 Breathings. 

3 Had I known that God, like a very young and innocent bride- 
groom, did not value me, I should have been less vain. The verse is 
also translated— Had I known that the Bridegroom was for the humble. 
I should have been less proud. 

4 The body which contains the soul tied up in it. 

5 If I had known that this trumpery body was so soon to pass away, 
I should have taken greater care. 

6 Look into thy heart, consider thine own faults and not those of others. 


Farid, when it was time for thee to earn, 1 thou wast in 
love with the world : 

Death's foundations are strong ; 2 when the last breath is 
drawn, thy soul shall be packed away. 


See, Farid, what hath occurred — thy beard hath grown 

The future is near, the past is left far behind. 


See, Farid, what hath occurred — sugar hath become 

To whom shall I tell my sorrow except to my Lord ? 


Farid, mine eyes have seen enough, and mine ears heard 
enough ; 

The tree of the body hath become ripe, 3 and hath assumed 
another colour. 


Farid, hath any one who enjoyed not her spouse when 
her hair was black, enjoyed him when her hair was grey ? 
Love thySpouse, so shall the colour of thy hair be restored. 4 

Guru Amar Das offers the following objection to 
this couplet : — 


Farid, whether man's hair be black or grey, the Lord is 
ever present if any one remember Him : 

1 That is, to serve God. 

2 Literally — increase by a fourth daily. 

3 The gyanis translate — The vegetables have become ripe. That 
is, the field of life has yielded its harvest, and it is time for death. 

4 That is, youth shall return, and thou shalt have another op- 
portunity of enjoying thy Spouse. Rangan we/a hoi is also read and 
translated — This is the time for enjoying Him. 


Even if all men desire to love God, they will not succeed 
by their own endeavours : 

This cup of love belongeth to God ; He giveth it to 
whom He pleaseth. 


Farid, I have seen those eyes which charmed the world — 
They could not endure the streak of lampblack, 1 yet in 
them birds have hatched their young. 


Farid, men shout and shriek and ever give advice ; 
But how can they whom the devil hath led astray, turn 
their thoughts to God ? 


Farid, if thou long for the Lord of all, become the grass 
on the pathway for men to tread on ; 

When one man breaketh thee and another trampleth on 

Then shalt thou enter the court of the Lord. 


Farid, revile not dust, there is nothing like it ; 
When we are alive it is beneath our feet, when we are 
dead it is above us. 


Farid, where there is greed, what love can there be ? 
Where there is greed, the love is false. 

How long canst thou pass thy time in a broken hut in 
the rain ? 


Farid, why wanderest thou from forest to forest breaking 
down branches and thorns ? 2 

It is in the heart God dwelleth ; why seekest thou Him 
in the forest ? 

1 Used to darken the eyelids. This slok is said to have been written 
on seeing the skull of a beautiful courtesan who used to find fault 
with her servant for touching her eyes when applying lampblack. 

2 Also translated — When the thorns of the forest seek to drive thee 


Farid, with these spindle-shanks I have traversed plains 
and mountains. 

But to-day for Farid to lift his jug hath become as toil- 
some as a journey of hundreds of miles. 


Farid, the nights have grown long ; my sides ache and 

Curse on the lives of those who have hopes other than 
in God. 

The following was written on Farid's missing the 
visit of a holy friend who had come to see him : — 


Farid, had I been present when my friend came, I would 
have devoted myself to him. 

Now my body burneth like madder on the cinders, and 
I cannot pay him a return visit. 


Farid, the J at 1 planteth the kikar, yet he wanteth the 
grape-tree of Bijaur ; 

He spinneth wool, yet he wanteth to wear silk. 


Farid, in the streets there is mud ; the house of my 
dear friend whom I love is distant ; 

If I go to him, I shall wet my blanket ; If I remain at 
home, our love shall be severed. 


O God, though Thou send Thy rain, and wet, and drench 
my blanket ; 

Yet shall I go to meet that friend so that our love may 
not be severed. 

1 A tribe generally employed in agriculture. 


It is said that when Farid was one day putting 
on his turban, it slipped from his hand. The follow- 
ing was composed on the occasion : — 


Farid, I fear that my turban will be soiled ; 
My thoughtless soul knoweth not that dust will rot my 
head also. 


Sugar unrefined and refined, loaf sugar, molasses, honey, 
and buffalo's milk, 
Are all sweet things, but not, 0 God, so sweet as Thou. 


Farid, my bread is made of wood, 1 hunger is my con- 
diment ; 

They who eat buttered bread shall suffer great pain. 


Eat hard dry bread, and drink cold water ; 
Farid, on seeing another's buttered bread let not thy 
heart long for it. 


I slept not with my husband last night ; my body is 
pining away ; 

Go ask the wife whom her husband hath put away, how 
she passeth the night. 2 

Guru Amar Das has given the following reply to 
this question : — 


She findeth no entrance to the house of her father-in-law, 
and no place with her parents. 

1 A reference to the wooden cake Farid I wore on his stomach to 
satisfy the cravings of hunger. 

2 This and the preceding line are explained. — If man feel so much 
from a temporary separation from God, what shall he feel from an 
eternal separation ? 


Can she for whom her husband careth not, be called 
a happy wife ? 


Woman, whether in this world or the next, belongeth to 
her Spouse, the inaccessible and unfathomable One ; 

Nanak, she is a happy wife who is pleasing to God the 


They who bathe, and wash, and adorn themselves, and 
then heedlessly sleep regardless of their spouses, 

Farid, are as it were smeared all over with asafoetida, 
and the perfume of their musk departeth. 


I dread not the departure of youth if my Spouse's love 
depart not therewith ; 

Farid, how often hath youth become dry and withered 
without love ! 


Farid, my bed is anxiety ; its bottom, affliction ; its 
mattress and coverlet, separation from God ; 
Such is my life ; do Thou, O true God, look upon me. 


Men continually speak of love ; 1 0 Love, thou art a 
monarch ; 

Farid, deem the body in which there is not love a place 
of cremation. 


Farid, pleasures 2 are like poisonous sprouts smeared with 
sugar ; 

Some die while planting them ; others are ruined while 
gathering them. 

1 Literally — separation, but here it means love in absence. 

2 Some make women the subject of this slok, but this is contrary to 
the teaching of the Granth Sahib. Thus Guru Nanak writes, ' Why 
call woman bad ? ' Guru Arjan, through his regard for women, re- 
jected a stanza brought to him by Pilo for insertion in the Granth 
Sahib. It began, ' Look not even on a paper likeness of woman .' 



Farid, men have lost the four watches of the day in wander- 
ing and the four watches of the night in sleep ; 

God will call for thine account and ask why thou earnest 
into the world. 


Farid, when thou wentest to the gate of the court, sawest 
thou not the gong ? 

When that sinless thing is thus beaten, what shall be 
the condition of us sinners ? 


It is beaten every ghari and receiveth complete punish- 
ment at the end of every watch ; 1 

So the body like the gong passeth a painful night. 


Shaikh Farid hath grown old, and his body hath begun 
to totter ; 

Were he to live even for hundreds of years, his body 
would become dust at last. 


Saith Farid, allow me not, O Lord, to sit and beg at 
another's gate. 

If that is how Thou art about to treat me, then take the 
life from my body. 


0 blacksmith, thou goest to the forest with thine axe 
on thy shoulder, and thy water-pot on thy head ; 

Saith Farid, I am longing for my Lord, thou art longing 
for charcoal. 2 

1 At the end of the first ghari of the pahar the gong was struck 
once; at the end of the second ghari twice, and so on till the end of 
the pahar of eight gharis, when it was struck sixteen times. 

2 This is believed to be an appeal from Farid to his friend Jassa, 
a smith, to spare the tree under which the saint used to pray. Jassa 
was not a wood-cutter, as the English reader may suppose. In the 
East smiths go to the forest to cut down trees to make charcoal from 
them for the purpose of their trade. 



Farid, some have a great deal of flour, others have not 
even salt ; 

When they have all departed, it will be known who 
shall suffer punishment. 


They who had drums, and trumpets, and umbrellas over 
their heads, and bards to sound their praises, 

Went to sleep in the cemetery, and were buried as if 
they had been poor orphans. 


Farid, they who built houses, mansions, and lofty palaces 
also departed ; 

False was their business and they dropped into their 


Farid, there are many tacks on the patched coat to make 
it last, but there are no such tacks on the soul ; 1 

Shaikhs and their disciples have departed, each in his 


Farid, while the two lamps of man's eyes are shining, the 
angel of Death cometh and seateth himself on his body ; 2 

He captureth the fortress, robbeth it of the soul, and 
having put out the lamp departeth. 


Farid, see what happeneth to cotton, what befalleth 

Sugar-cane, paper, earthen utensils, and charcoal ; 

The punishment they receive awaiteth those who do evil. 


Farid, men carry prayer-carpets on their shoulders, wear 
a sufi's robe, 3 and speak sweetly, but there are knives in 
their hearts ; 

1 There is nothing to restrain the soul from flying away from the body. 

2 That is, death comes while man is looking on. 

3 Siiph, also called a kafni, a patched coat without sleeves worn by 



Externally they appear bright, but in their hearts is sable 


Farid, if any one were to cut my body, not a drop of 
blood would issue from it, 

Since the body which is dyed with God containeth no 

On this couplet Guru Amar Das made the follow- 
ing commentary : — 


This body is all blood ; the body cannot exist without 
blood ; 

But the blood of greed entereth not the body which is 
dyed with its Lord. 

When the fear of the Lord entereth the heart, the body 
groweth lean and the blood of greed departeth from it. 

As metals are purified by fire, so the fear of the Lord 
removeth the filth of evil inclinations. 

Nanak, that man is handsome who is dyed with the love 
of God. 


Farid, search the lake 1 where the Real Thing 2 is to be 
found ; 

What availeth it to search in a pond ? 3 one's hand 
merely sinketh into the mud. 


Farid, the little girl did not enjoy her Spouse ; when she 
grew up she died. 

Lying in the grave she calleth, ' I have not met Thee, 
O my Lord.' 

Musalman faqTrs. Suf is generally supposed to come from the Greek 
sophia, wisdom, but in Arabic the word means wool. Sufis affected 
woollen garments. 

1 The guild of the saints. 2 God's name. 

3 In inferior company. 


Farid, the hair of my head is grey, my beard is grey, 
my moustaches also are grey ; 

0 my heedless and insensate soul, why art thou devoted 
to sensual pleasures ? 


Farid, how far canst thou run on a house-top ? banish 
thine indifference to the Dear One ; 

The days which were counted and allotted thee have 
passed away in vain. 


Farid, attach not thy heart to houses, mansions, and 
lofty palaces ; 

When unweighable earth falleth on thee, thou shalt have 
no friend. 


Farid, set not thy heart on mansions and wealth ; think 
upon the grave ; 
Remember that place whither thou must go. 


Farid, forsake those occupations from which no advantage 

Lest thou be put to shame in the court of the Lord. 


Farid, perform the service of the Lord, dispel the doubts 
of thy heart ; 
Darweshes require the endurance of trees. 


Farid, black are my clothes, black my vestment ; 

1 wander about denied by sin, yet men call me a dar- 


That which hath been rotted by water, will not bloom 
if it be kept immersed in it ; 
Farid, the wife rejected by God ever and ever grieveth. 

D d 2 



When a woman is a virgin she is happy ; when she is 
married her troubles begin. 

Farid, she hath this regret that she cannot again become 
a virgin. 1 


The swans have alighted in a little tank of brackish 
water ; 2 

They dip in their bills, but drink not ; they thirst to 
fly away. 


The swans fly away and alight on a field of kodhra ; 3 
people go to drive them away ; 4 

Heedless people know not that swans eat not kodhra. 5 


The birds 6 which occupied the lake 7 have flown away ; 
Farid, the full lake shall also pass away, and the lotuses 8 
alone remain. 


Farid, bricks shall be thy pillow, thou shalt sleep beneath 
the earth, worms shall eat thy flesh ; 

How many ages shall pass away for thee lying on one 
side. 9 


Farid, the beautiful water-pot 10 shall be broken ; the 
excellent rope 11 shall part therefrom ; 

In whose house shall the angel Azrail be a guest to-day ? 

The soul which has lost its opportunities of salvation regrets that 
it cannot again return to a human body. 

2 That is, saints have fallen into the company of the wicked. 

3 An inferior Indian cereal, the Paspalum scrobiculalum, 

4 The saints fare badly among the perverse who annoy and slander 
them. 5 Holy men do not covet worldly things. 

6 That is, kings and persons in high positions. 

7 The lake means the world. 8 Holy men. 
9 Not moving. 10 The body. 

11 The rope by which the water-pot is let down into the well. Here 
it means life. 


The beautiful water-pot shall be broken ; the excellent 
rope shall part therefrom ; 

How shall our friends who were a burden to the earth 
return now ? 


Saith Farid, thou dog who prayest not, this custom of 
thine is not good ; 

Thou never goest to the mosque at the five times of 


Rise in the morning, Farid, perform thine ablutions, 
repeat thy prayer ; 
Cut off the head which boweth not to the Lord. 


What is to be done to the head which boweth not to 
the Lord ? 

Burn it instead of firewood under the earthen pot. 


Farid, where are the father and mother who gave thee 
birth ? 

They have departed from thee; art thou not yet convinced 
that the world is unstable ? 


Farid, make thy heart a plain, level all its hollows and 
hills ; 

And the fire of hell shall never approach thee here- 

Guru Arjan makes the following observation on 
this :— 


O Farid, the Creator dwelleth in creation and creation 
in the Creator ; 

Whom callest thou bad, since there is none beside 



Farid, if my throat had been cut on the same day as my 
navel string, 

I should not have fallen into such trouble, nor undergone 
such hardship. 


My teeth, my feet, mine eyes, mine ears have ceased their 
functions ; 

The body crieth aloud, ' Those acquaintances have gone 


Farid, do good for evil, clothe not thy heart with anger : 
Thus shall thy body not suffer pain, and thou shalt obtain 


Farid, the birds 1 are guests in the beautiful garden of the 
world ; 

The morning drum beateth ; make preparations for thy 


Farid, musk is distributed at night ; they who sleep 
obtain no share of it. 

How can they whose eyes are asleep obtain it ? 


Farid, I thought I alone had sorrow, but the whole world 
also hath sorrow ; 

When I ascended an eminence and looked, I found the 
same anguish in every house. 

Guru Arjan replies to this as follows :— 

Farid, in the midst of this fair earth there is a thorny 
garden ; 

But the man favoured by the spiritual guide feeleth not 
its prickles. 

1 That is, souls. 


Farid, few are found who love the Dear One ; 
They who do, find their lives happy and their persons 


0 river, 1 destroy not thy bank ; thou too must give an 
account ; 

The river floweth whithersoever God willeth. 


Farid, my days have passed in sorrow, and my nights in 
anguish ; 

The ferryman standeth up and shouteth, ' The wind is 
driving the boat into the whirlpool.' 2 


The long river of life floweth and wasteth away its 
banks ; 3 

If the ferryman be on the alert, what harm can the 
whirlpool do the boat ? 


Farid, there are twenty friends in words ; but if thou 
search for one real friend, thou shalt not find him. 

1 am suffering like smouldering fuel for my beloved 


Farid, these people are ever barking ; 4 who can endure 
the continual annoyance ? 

I have stopped mine ears, and I care not how much wind 
is blowing. 


Farid, God's dates are ripe ; rivers of honey flow past 
them ; 5 

1 This was addressed to the Satluj. 

2 The guru warns man that he is going to die. 

3 The body wastes away and death gradually approaches. 

4 Crying out for worldly things. 

5 The dates are the saints of God, the rivers of honey His praises. 


The days that pass in enjoying them are profitable to my 
life. 1 


Farid, my dry body hath become a skeleton ; ravens peck 
at the hollows of my hands and feet ; 

Up to the present, God hath not come to mine aid ; 
behold His servant's misfortune ! 


0 ravens, you have searched my skeleton and eaten all my 
flesh ; 

But touch not these two eyes, as I hope to behold my 


0 ravens, peck not at my skeleton ; if haply you sit on it, 
then fly away ; 

At any rate, eat not the flesh from where my Lord dwelleth 
in my skeleton. 


Farid, the wretched tomb calleth out, ' 0 homeless, come 
home ! 

' You shall assuredly come to me ; fear not death.' 


How many have departed before my very eyes ! 
Farid, men have different anxieties, and I have mine. 


God saith, ' If thou reform thyself, thou shalt meet Me ; 
on meeting Me thou shalt be happy ; 

' Farid, if thou remain Mine, all the world shall be thine.' 


How long shall the trees on the banks retain their place ? 
Farid, if thou put water into a frail vessel, how long will 
it remain ? 

1 Dates and honey are promised to Muhammadans in heaven, but 
Farid means that they can be obtained on earth. 


Farid, places have become empty and their occupants 
gone below ; 
The wretched graves take possession of souls ; 1 

0 Shaikh, say good-bye to your friends ; 2 thou must 
depart to-day or to-morrow. 


Farid, death hath no more a boundary than a river 3 
which washeth away its banks ; 

When Death appeareth hell burneth in front ; terrible cries 
and sounds of woe are heard. 

To some all understanding hath come ; others wander 
about recklessly. 

Men's acts in this world shall bear witness in God's court. 


Farid, the crane 4 sitteth on the bank of the river and 
sporteth ; 

While it is sporting the hawk suddenly striketh it ; 5 
When the hawk of God striketh it, it forgetteth its sport. 
.,God hath accomplished such things as could never have 
been conceived. 


A body of three and a half mans is moved by water and 
grain ; 

Man entereth the world entertaining high hopes ; 
When the angel of Death cometh, he will break open 
every door ; 

He will take man prisoner in the presence of his dear 

1 The Musalmans believe that the soul remains with the body till 
its account is taken. 

2 Also translated — worship God. Some say this hymn was addressed 
to a disciple of Farid. Farid told him to worship God, as his sojourn 
in this world was uncertain. 

3 Literally— the boundary of death appears like that of a destroying 
river. Death does as much havoc in the world as a large tropical river 
during the rainy season to the surrounding country. 

4 The soul. 5 Death strikes the soul. 


Lo ! man departeth on the shoulders of four men, 
Farid ; but the good acts he performed in this world shall 
be serviceable to him in God's court. 


Farid, I am a sacrifice to those birds 1 which live in the 
forests ; 

They live on fruit, sleep on the ground, and never leave 
God's side. 


Farid, the season changeth, 2 the forests wave, the leaves 
drop off ; 

I have searched in every direction, but found no place 
of rest. 


Farid, tear thy coat into tatters and wear a blanket 
instead ; 

Adopt a dress by which thou mayest obtain the Lord. 

Guru Amar Das makes the following reflection 
on this couplet : — 


Why tear thy coat and put on a blanket ? 
Nanak, if thine intentions be good, seated at home thou 
shalt find the Lord. 

Guru Ram Das has added the following : — 


0 Farid, they who were proud of their greatness and 
possessed youth and untold wealth, 

Went away bare from the Lord like a hillock after rain. 3 


Farid, terrible are the countenances of those who have 
forgotten the Name ; 

1 Hermits. 2 That is, old age comes on. 

3 Water will not rest on a hill, neither will God's grace on him who 
holds his head too high. 


Here they have abundant sorrow, and hereafter neither 
house nor home. 


Farid, if thou awake not in the end of the night, thou art 
dead while alive ; 
Even if thou forget God, God will not forget thee. 

Guru Arjan has here composed the following four 
couplets :— 


Farid, the Bridegroom is merry, and far beyond all need ; 
To be dyed with God is the true decoration. 


Farid, treat pain and pleasure as the same ; banish sin 
from thy heart ; 

Consider what pleaseth God as good, and thou shalt gain 
His court. 


Farid, the world playeth as mammon maketh it play ; 
thou too playest with it ; 
The soul for which God careth playeth not. 1 


Farid, the heart is dyed with the world, though the world 
be worthless ; 

To be like faqirs is difficult ; their excellence can only be 
obtained by perfect acts. 2 

Farid then proceeds : — 


Devotion in the beginning of the night is the blossom, 
in the end of the night the fruit ; 
They who watch obtain gifts from the Lord. 

1 Is not subject to worldly love. 

2 Also translated — by perfect good fortune. 


Guru Nanak offers the following objection to this 
doctrine :— 


Gifts are the Lord's ; what can prevail against Him ? 
Some who are awake receive them not ; others who are 
asleep He awaketh and conferreth presents upon. 

Farid continues to expound his doctrines : — 


Thou who searchest for thy Spouse, must have some fault 
in thyself ; 

She who is called a good wife never looketh for any one 


Make patience thy bow, patience thy bowstring, 
Patience thine arrow, and the Creator will not allow thee 
to miss thy mark. 


With such patience do the patient mortify their bodies ; 
They thus become near God, but tell their secrets to no one. 


This patience is the main object ; if thou, 0 mortal, 
adopt it, 

Thou shalt become a great river and not a separate 
branch thereof. 


Farid, to be a darwesh at God's gate is difficult ; my love 
for God is only on the surface. 

Few there are who walk in the way of the darweshes at 
God's gate. 


My body is heated like an oven ; my bones burn like 
firewood ; 

Were my feet to tire, I would walk on my head to meet 
the Beloved. 


Guru Nanak has here composed the following 
couplet : — 


Heat not thy body like an oven, burn not thy bones like 
firewood ; 

What harm have thy head and feet done thee ? Behold 
the Beloved within thee. 

The following is by Guru Ram Das :— 


I go searching for the Friend, but the Friend is with me ; 
Nanak, the Unseen is not seen, but the pious show the 
way to Him. 

The following couplets have been contributed by 
Guru Amar Das .— 


The crane seeing the swan 1 swimming conceived a desire 
to swim ; 

But the poor crane was drowned ; and its body turned 
upside down. 


I thought he was a great swan, wherefore I associated 
with him ; 

Had I known that he was only a wretched crane, I would 
never have touched him. 


What mattereth it whether he whom God looketh on with 
favour be a swan or a crane ? 

Nanak, if it please God, He can change a crow into a swan. 

Farid thus closes his spiritual instructions : — 


In the lake there is but one bird, while there are fifty 
snarers ; 2 

1 The crane is the hypocrite: the swan the holy man. 

2 That is, the temptations of the world are many to lead the soul 


This body is immersed in the waves of the world ; O True 
One, my hope is in Thee. 


What is that word, what those virtues, what that priceless 
spell ; 

What dress shall I wear that I may captivate the Spouse ? 


Humility is the word, forbearance the virtue, civility 
the priceless spell ; 

Make these three thy dress, O sister, and the Spouse shall 
come into thy power. 1 


There are few saints 

Who, though wise, are simple, 

Though strong, are weak, 

And, though having not, divide what they have. 


Utter not one disagreeable word, since the true Lord is 
in all men. 

Distress no one's heart ; every heart is a priceless jewel. 


All men's hearts are jewels ; to distress them is by no 
means good : 

If thou desire the Beloved, distress no one's heart. 


Bhikan was most probably Shaikh Bhikan of 
Kakori who died in the early part of the Emperor 
Akbar's reign. The Persian historian Badauni has 
the following account of him :— ' Kakori is a pargana 
town in the Sarkar of Lakhnau. Shaik Bhikan was 
the most learned of the learned men of his time, 

1 In the oldest Janamsakhi this reply is attributed to Guru Nanak. 



abstemious and well versed in the holy law, while 
in devout piety even Abu Hanifa, the greatest of 
the Imams, was his inferior. For many years he 
was engaged in teaching and in instructing the 
people. He had committed the whole of the glorious 
word of God to memory, according to each of the 
seven methods of reading it. He used also to give 
instruction thereon. He reckoned his spiritual suc- 
cession from Mir Saiyid Ibrahim of Irij, who was 
himself the most learned of the learned men of 
his time. The Shaikh would never mention the Sufi 
mysteries in a public assembly, but only in private 
to those who had been initiated into their secrets ; 
and one of his sayings was, "If the mystical profes- 
sion of the Unity of God be made public, it returns 
solely to him who uttered it, or to the learned few." 
He would not listen to singing, and outwardly 
reprobated it. He left numerous children who 
attained perfection, all of whom were adorned with 
the embellishments of rectitude, piety, wisdom, 
knowledge, and virtue. 

' The compiler of these historical selections was 
honoured, in company with the late Muhammad 
Husain Khan by being permitted to pay his respects 
to the Shaikh in Lakhnau. It was the month 
of Ramzan and a certain one brought to the Shaikh 
a work on logic, asking him to set him a task in 
that book. The Shaikh said, " You should read 
some book on divinity." The Shaikh's death oc- 
curred in the year a.h. 981 (a. d. 1573-4).' 

Badauni states that when Muzaffar Khan rose in 
revolt against Akbar, he on one occasion pitched 
his tent near the burial place of Shaikh Bhikan, no 
doubt with the object of praying for his intercession 
for the success of his enterprise. 

Badauni also speaks of ' that pilgrim to the two 
sacred precincts Haji Bhikan Basawani.' This, how- 
ever, may have been a different person from Shaikh 
Bhikan of Kakori. 


Whoever wrote the following hymns bearing the 
name of Bhikan in the Granth Sahib, must have 
been some religious man who resembled Shaikh 
Farid II, and was largely tinctured with the reforma- 
tory ideas then prevalent in India. It has been 
conjectured, with some show of probability, that 
Bhikan was a follower of Kabir. 

Only God's name can heal a diseased mind and body. 


From mine eyes tears have flowed, my body hath become 
lean, and my hair the colour of milk. 

My throat is choked ; I cannot utter a word ; what can 
mortal now do ? 

O Sovereign Lord, Gardener of the world, be Thou my 

And save Thy saints. 

There is pain in my forehead ; my body is burning ; my 
heart 1 is in anguish ; 

Such pangs have been produced in me that there is no 
medicine for them. 

The name of God, a pure nectareous water, is the best 
medicine in the world. 

Bhikan prayeth, may I by the guru's favour obtain the 
gate of salvation ! 

The bliss which Bhikan finds in devotion : — 

Such a Name, a priceless jewel, I have obtained as the 
reward of meritorious acts. 

With several efforts I put the jewel in my heart ; however 
much I tried to conceal it, it would not be concealed. 

Though one try to utter God's praises, they cannot be 
uttered ; 

They are like sweets to a dumb person. 

My tongue is happy in repeating, mine ear in hearing, and 
my mind in thinking on God's name. 

Saith Bhikan, both mine eyes are satisfied ; wherever 
I look there is God 

1 Kareje ; as in Latin, the liver is used here for the heart. 

4 i7 


The Sur Das, one of whose hymns is found in the 
Granth Sahib, must not be confounded with Sur Das, 
a blind poet famous in the north of India as the author 
of the Sur Sagar. The Sur Das with whom we are 
concerned was a Brahman born a. d. 1528. On 
account of his beauty he was surnamed Madan 
Mohan, an epithet which means that he bewitched 
Cupid himself, and it was said that his external and 
internal eyes bloomed like the lotus flower. He 
became highly proficient in music, poetry, and 
kindred arts, and at the same time possessed all 
the joy, comfort and pleasure to be obtained from 
esoteric divine knowledge. He sang of love, the 
first and greatest of the divine passions which form 
the proper subjects of poetry. As soon as a verse 
issued from his mouth it became celebrated. It is 
said that, even in that age of bad roads and slow 
locomotion, it would reach four hundred miles in 
a day as if it had acquired wings for flight. 

The Emperor Akbar, who admired poetical talents, 
appointed Sur Das governor of the province of 
Sandila. Its capital is in the present district of 
Hardoi in Oudh. His administration appears to 
have been by no means successful. The ordinary 
land revenue of Sandila was thirteen lakhs of 
rupees per year, but it was all spent by Sur Das in 
feeding holy men. When he heard of a contem- 
plated inspection of his province and the collection 
of its revenue, he fled to avoid the consequences of 
his too profuse generosity. When the officials 
arrived to take the revenue, they found stones in 
the sealed treasure-chests instead of money. Each 
chest was labelled with a slip containing these 
lines : — 

Sandila yields its thirteen lakhs ; 

They're eaten up by men who pray : 



So Sur Das Madan Mohan now 
At dead of night hath run away. 

The Emperor on reading these verses said that 
eating was an excellent thing, but absconding was 
not a course to be commended. He was even 
pleased to learn Sur Das's generosity and service 
to saints, and accordingly wrote an order par- 
doning his offence and expressing satisfaction at his 
devotion to holy men, but at the same time re- 
questing him to appear before him. Sur Das said 
that it was a thousand times better to wipe the 
shoes of holy men than be governor and revenue 
collector of a province, and he refused to appear 
before Akbar. Todar Mai, Akbar's Prime Minister, 
could tolerate it no longer. He said to the Emperor, 
' If such people can with impunity spend the money 
which belongs to the state and then abscond, there 
will be an end to all government.' Under the 
circumstances Akbar altered his resolution and 
ordered that Sur Das should be imprisoned. The 
poet's jailor was named Timir Das. The word timir 
means night or darkness ; and the word das, if 
pronounced with a short vowel, means ten. From 
his prison the poet sent the Emperor the following 
couplet, which in the original contains a pun on the 
name of the jailor. 

One night brings darkness which a small lamp lights ; 
O may the sun king Akbar save me from Ten Nights ! 

Sur Das was immediately released from prison and 
the governor of the jail obtained the sobriquet of 
Ten Nights from the pun on his name. 

Sur Das subsequently wrote a stanza in which 
he prayed that the title of shoe-holder to the 
saints of God might be conferred on him. A holy 
man, to put him to the test, told him he was 
going to see the great lord Madan Mohan, also an 
epithet of Krishan, and asked him to keep watch 



over his shoes till he returned. Sur Das with great 
pleasure took up the saint's shoes and said, ' Up 
to the present my wishes have only been expressed, 
but now they are fulfilled.' The high priest in col- 
lusion with the saint several times sent a man to 
call Sur Das while holding the shoes. He refused 
to come until he had completed the menial service 
he had undertaken. The high priest and the saint 
were both highly pleased with Sur Das's devotion. 

Sur Das passed the remainder of his life in forest 
tracts in the worship and contemplation of God in 
the society of holy men. His shrine is near Banaras. 

The following hymn of Sur Das in the Sarang 
measure on the happiness of communion with God 
is found in the Granth Sahib. 

The people of God dwell with God. 

They dedicate unto Him their bodies and souls ; all they 
possess they dedicate unto Him. While voicing His name 
they become intoxicated 1 with divine pleasure. 

On beholding Him men become free from sin, and obtain 
all things. 

After gazing on His beautiful face, there needs nothing 

He who forsaketh God and desireth any one else, is like 
a leech on a leprous body. 

Sur Das, God hath taken my soul into His keeping and 
granted me deliverance 2 in exchange. 

In the Granth Sahib of Bhai Banno, the fol- 
lowing hymn of Sur Das in the same measure is 
also found. The ordinary Granth Sahib only con- 
tains the first line. The hymn was originally copied 
into the Granth Sahib of Kartarpur, but a pen was 
subsequently drawn through it and sulphate of 
arsenic rubbed over it for more complete erasure. 

1 Jhok, the falling of the head in deep thought or absorption. 

2 Ih parlok, the next world, by which is understood the joy of the 
next world, that is, absorption in God and deliverance from trans- 

e e 2 


The reason for its erasure has not been explained. 
The subject of the hymn is the old one — Evil com- 
munications corrupt good manners— as stated by the 
old Greek poet Menander. 

0 man, abandon the society of those who turn away 
from God ; 

In association with them evil desires are produced, and 
devotion is interrupted. 

What availeth it to give milk to a serpent to drink ? It 
will not part with its poison. 

What availeth it to bathe an elephant in the river ? He 
will soil his body as before. 1 

What availeth it to a crow to peck at camphor, or to 
a dog to bathe in the Ganges ? 

What availeth it to a donkey to be smeared with fragrant 
aloes, or to a monkey to wear jewels on his body ? 

Sinners are like stones ; the arrows of divine knowledge 
pierce them not, even though a quiverful be discharged. 

Saith Sur Das, 0 God, this black blanket cannot be dyed 
another colour. 2 

1 This verse is omitted in some recensions of Bhai Banno's Granth 

2 A blanket made of natural black wool cannot be dyed. The 
meaning is that the man who turns away from God cannot be re- 

Grant to Thy Sikhs the gift of Sikhism, the gift of the 
Guru's instruction, the gift of faith, the gift of confidence 
in Thee, and the gift of reading and understanding the holy 
Granth Sahib. 


Pref. stands for Preface, Int. h 

Abchalanagar (Nander), v 220, 

Abdali, vi 69 n4. 
Abdul Qadir Jilani, vi 362 n 1, 

Abdul Rahlm Anslri, vi 362. 
Abdul Shakur of Sarsa, vi 366. 
Abdulla, bard, iv 6, 187. 
Abdulla Khan, Subadar of Ja- 

landhar, iv 105. 
Abdulla Shah, son of Shaikh 

Farid, vi 375. 
Abhijit, ii 112 n 1. 
Abhyagat, ii 233 n 1. 
Abraham, Musalman story of, vi 

127 n 2. 

Accounts, former Indian practice 

of settling, vi 251 n 1. 
Achal Batala, i 157 n2. 
Acquisitions, six, vi 273 n. 
Acrostics, G. Nanak's Hindi, i 

3 ; Persian, i 12; Kablr's, vi 


Acts in human birth attach to 
the soul, i 67 n 1 ; result of, 
i 198 n 1, 33s n 1 ; two kinds 
of, iii 225 n 1 ; vi 90 n2, 147 
n 1 and 2. 

Adanshahis, v 174. 

Adesh, i 213 n 1. 

Adh, coin, i 12 n 3. 

Adi Granth, Int. lxxiii, lxxv. 

Aditi, Int. lx. 

Adonai, Lord, i 9 n2. 

Adultery forbidden, iv 253 ; v 

Ages, four, i 4 n6, 23s ; " 230 ; 

iii 402. 
Agni, Int. lxiii. 
Ahalya, vi 56 n2. 
Ahinsa, vi 141. 
Ahmad Danyal, vi 370 n 1. 
Ahmad Shah Durani, iii 10 ; v 

108 n 1, 223 n 1. 
Aln-i-Akbari, i 157 n 1 ; vi 362 
_ n 1, 377 n, 390 n 1. 
Ai Panth, i 212 114. 
Aj, grandfather of Ram Chandar, 

i 168 n 3. 

>r Introduction, and n for note. 

Ajamal, ii 339 n 1. 

Ajit Singh, son of G. Gobind 

Singh, v s 1 ; his heroism, 1 30, 

132, 140 j sent against Pa- 

thgns, 154; death at Cham- 

kaur, 188. 
Ajit Singh, adopted son of Mata 

Sundari, v 231, 254, 255. 
Ajmer Chand, Raja, v 99, 123, 

136, 145, 170, 172, 175. 
Ajodhan, i 84 ; Shaikh Farid at, 

vi 366. 

Ajudhia, Monkey temple at, iv 

366 ; vi 30. 
Akal, v 261 n4. 
Akal Bunga, iv 3, 32. 
Akalis, iv 4. 
Akal Ustat, v 260 n. 
j Akbar, his religion, Int. xlv, lvi ; 

i 1 57 n 1 ; visits Amar Das, ii 
97 ; summons G. Arjan, iii 
81, 83 ; remits land revenue of 

! Pan jab. 84; addressed as deity, 
! iv369;'vi 350, 417. 

Akk, poisonous plant, i 288 n 1. 

Akshar, vi 189 n 1. 

Alahanian, i 1 89 n ; iv 70. 

Alakh, the Invisible, iii 108 n3. 

Ala-ul-Dln, last of Saiyad rulers, 
Int. xlii, lxx. 

Alayar, ii 77. 

Alif Khan, v 51, 154. 

Alim, author of the Rag Mala, iii 

Alim Singh, v 140, 155, 171. 
Allah, name of God, iii 388 n 2 ; 

v 67 n 2. 
Allahabad (Priyag), place of 

pilgrimage, i 144 n 1. 
Almast, Bhai, iv 50, 53, 55. 
Alms, i 39 n 4, 372 n 3 ; ii 206 

n 1 ; iii 70. 
Alphabet, Indian method of 

teaching, i 3 ; vi 181 ; Guru- 

mukhi, i 256 n 1 ; ii 56 ; Hindi, 

ii 56; Sanskrit, iii 168 n 1. 
Amar Das, Guru, birth, ii 30 ; 

visits Guru Angad, ii 32 ; 
! becomes his disciple, ii 32 ; 



Amar Das (continued) — 
his devotion, ii 35, 40, 42 ; 
punishment of the Tapa of 
Khadur, ii 38, 39 ; appointed 
Guru, ii 43 ; mode of life as 
Guru, ii 58 ; sends Sawan Mai 
to Hard war, ii 60 ; Raja of 
Kangra's visit, ii 61 ; Raja's 
insane queen, ii 62 ; rebellion 
of Datu, ii 64 ; the Sikhs per- 
secuted by Muhammadans, ii 
68 ; prophecy at Kasur, ii 75 ; 
annual gatherings instituted, 
ii 79 ; parable of the saint's 
son, ii 83 ; Bawali founded, ii 
87 ; Ram Das visits him, ii 
89 ; Bibi Bhani, the Guru's 
daughter, married to Ram Das, 
ii 91 ; Emperor Akbar's visit, 
ii 97 ; hostility of Hindus, ii 
102 ; sent for by the Emperor, 
ii 105 ; Ram Das deputed in 
his stead, ii 106 ; advised by 
the Emperor to placate the 
Hindus by visiting Hardwar, 
ii 112; rules of his religion, 
ii 137 ; tests Ram Das, ii 142 ; 
devotion of Bibi Bhani, ii 143, 
144 ;■ Ram Das appointed his 
successor, ii 146; death and 
cremation of, ii 1 50 ; hymns of, 
ii 154; denounces concrema- 
tion of widows, ii 228 n I. 

Ambala, v 247. 

Ambarik, King of Ajudhia, vi 63 
n 2. 

Amber, ancient capital of Jaipur, 

Int. xlix. 
Ambrosias, five, ii 248 n 1 ; vi 85 

n 1. 

Amils, surveyors, i 18. 
Amrit, baptism, Pref. xix ; v 95 
n 1. 

Amritsar, founding of, ii 141 ; 
stages of completion, ii 258, 
267, 270, 276 ; iii 2 ; temple 
and tank, iii 3, 9, 20, 33, 440 
n 1 ; Granth Sahib placed 
there, iii 65 ; visit of Emperor 
Jahangir, iv 32. 

Amritsar Singh Sabha, Author's 
translation accepted by, Pref. 
xiii, xxix. 

Amro, G. Angad's daughter, ii 

Ana, coin, iv 19 n 1. 
Anal, bird, v 143, 276 n 2. 
Analogy of European and Indian 

conditions in fifteenth century, 

Int. xL 

Anand, ii 1 17, 130 ; marriage by, 
v .109, 249 n 1. 

Anand, grandson of G. Amar 
Das, ii 117. 

Anand Ghan, Int. lxxx. 

Anandpur, founding of, iv 338, 
362 ; v 2 ; invested, v 1 30 ; 
plundered, v 164, 174 ; evacu- 
ated, v 185. 

Ananta, serpent, iv 254 n 6. 

Anatomy, Indian, vi 47, 169 
n 2 and 3. 

Ancestor worship, i 50, 65 n 5 ; 
ii 84 n 1 ; iv 249, 250 n 4, 346 
n 1 ; vi 128 n 8. 

Anchorets, vain devotion of, i 41 
n 1 ; vi 177. 

Angad (Lahina), Guru, meeting 
with G. Nanak, i 183 ; tested 
by him and named Angad, i 
185; ii 11 ; appointed his 
successor, i 1 87 ; ii 1 1 ; mar- 
riage, ii 1 ; lived in Khadur on 
becoming Guru, ii 11; his 
mode of life, ii 15 ; visit of 
Emperor Humayun, ii 19 ; 
cures Chaudhri's son, ii 28 ; 
Amar Das's visit, ii 32 ; 
drought in Khadur, ii 36 ; 
Guru obliged to leave Khadur, 
ii 36 ; appointment of Amar 
Das as Guru, ii 43 ; G. Angad's 
death and cremation, ii 44 ; 
his sloks, ii 46 ; adoption of 
the Gurumukhi characters foi 
the Gurus' hymns, ii 56. 

Animation, suspended, vi 16 n 2. 

Ani Rai, son of G. Har Gobind, 
iv 67, 223. 

Anjan, a collyrium, ii 1 19 n 3. 

Anpurna, iv 132 ni. 

Ansavatar, v 274 n 3. 

Antarjami, vi 77. 

Anthropomorphism, Int. lxi ; vi 

Antimony, ii 119 n3. 

Aparas, iii 224 n 1. 

Apollo, Int. lix. 

Apostasy, Gur Das on, iv 257. 

Arati, i 83 n 3 ; vi 122 n2, 333 n 3. 



Archaisms avoided, Pref. xxxi. 
Archery of G. Gobind Singh, v 

Ardas, supplication, v 333. 

Arjan, Guru, order to translate 
Granth Sahib into all lan- 
guages, Pref. viii ; birth, ii 93 ; 
sent to Lahore, ii 277 ; Pri- 
thia's jealousy, ii 279 ; ap- 
pointed his father's successor, 

ii 281 ; building of Har 
Mandar, iii 9, 12 ; episode of 
Raja Birbar, iii 16 ; visit to 
Cholha, iii 21 ; to Khanpur, 

iii 22 ; founding of Tarn 
Taran, iii 25 ; of Kartarpur, 
iii 26 ; visit to shrine of G. 
Nanak and Sri Chand, iii 27 ; 
his wife's desire for a son, iii 
29 ; she is sent to Bhai Budha, 
iii 30 ; birth of son Har 
Gobind, iii 35 ; controversy 
with Pandit, iii 50 ; decision 
to compile hymns of Sikh 
religion, iii 55 ; visit to Mohan 
to obtain sacred books, iii 56 ; 
completion of the Granth 
Sahib at Ramsar, iii 60 n 1 ; 
interviews with poets, iii 62 ; 
declines Chandu's daughter for 
his son Har Gobind, iii 75 ; son 
betrothed to Narain Das's 
daughter, iii 76 ; letter from 
Chandu, iii 79 ; marriage of 
Har Gobind, iii 80 ; Guru sent 
for by Emperor Akbar, iii 81 ; 
visited by Emperor Akbar, iii 
83 ; Emperor remits revenue 
in compliment to Guru, iii 84 ; 
death of Akbar, iii 84 ; Guru 
assists Khusro, iii 85 ; Prithia 
and Chandu plot against him, 
iii 87 ; departure for Lahore 
by Emperor Jahangir's orders, 

iii 90 ; is tortured, iii 93 ; 
bathes in the Ravi, iii 98 ; Ms 
last injunctions, iii 99 ; is 
succeeded by Guru Har Gobind 

iv 2. 

Arjani resuscitated, ii 130. 
Arms, advantages of wearing, 

v 102. 

Arnold's translation of GTtgovind, 

vi 7 n 1. 

Arun or Anuru, vi 81 n 1. 

As, son of Chitrbir, i 218 n 2. 
Asa ki War, i 218. 
Asam, iv 351 n 1. 
Ascetics, exclusiveness of, vi 353 

Ashes, use of, v 300 n 2 ; vi 243 n 5. 

Ashtapadi, iii 197 n 1. 

Asht Chhap, vi 83. 

Asidhuj, v 98 n 1. 

Asman Khan, son-in-law of 

Painda Khan, iv 190, 194, 198, 

204, 210. 
Asoka, Int. Iv. 

Asrar-i-Itrat-i-FarTdi, vi 358 n 1. 
Aswad of Makka, iv 380 n 1. 
Atal Rai, Baba, iv 49 n 1, 130, 

Atar Singh, Sir, Int. lxxxvi n. 

Aurangzeb, Pref. xviii ; treat- 
ment of Hindus, Int. xlviii, 
xlix; iv 277, 298, 300, 303, 
304, 30S. 307. 3i7» 368, 369. 
375, 388, 391 ; v 20, 107, 164, 
179, 201. 

Aurangzeb, sons of, v 229 n 1. 

Austerities, G, Gobind Singh on, 
v 271. 

Authenticity of religious books, 

Int. liii. 
Awadh (Oude), vi 61 n 3., i 178 n 1. 

Baba, ii 2 n 2. 

Babar, Emperor, imprisons G. 
Nanak, i m ; visits him, i 
113 ; succeeded by Humayun, 
ii 19 ; descendants of, iv 379 
n 1. 

Babhikhan, King of Ceylon, vi 

24 n 2. 
Badaoni, iii 84. 
Badri Narain, vi 102. 
Badr-ul-Din, Maulana, Farid's 

son-in-law, vi 378. 
Baghdad, G. Nanak's visit to, i 


Bagrian, Lord of, iv 150 n 1. 

Bahilo, Bhai, iii 8, 13 ; v 207. 

Bahlol Khan Lodi, Int. lxxi. 

Bahadur Shah, Emperor, his 
relations with Guru Gobind 
Singh, v 230 ; their interview 
in Agra, v 232 ; his death in 
Lahore, 251. 



Baha-ul-Din Zakarla, vi 363 n 1, 

372, 375- 
Bahia villages, iv 294. 
Bairagi,i 141 n 1, 161, 332; vi 105. 
Bairars, v 204 n 1, 226. 
Baisakhi festival, iii 26 ; iv 290. 
Bajra, iv 291 n 1. 
Bakala, iv 69 ; G. Teg Bahadur 

at,_329, 331. 
Bakrld, vi 341. 

Bala, Int. lxxviii, lxxix, lxxx, 

Bali, portions of offerings, i 279 

n 2 ; iv 346 n 1. 
Bali, son of Prahlad, vi 63 n 4. 
Balkrira, i 2. 

Ballu, Bhai, with G. Amar Das, 

ii 58, 117. 
Balmik, iii 414. 

Balwand, Musician, ii 15, 21, 23, 


Bamdev, vi 36. 

Bam Maragis, iii 348 n 1. 

Banaras, i 61 n 2 ; ii 87 ; saw 
at, i 274 n 1 ; iv 304 ; visit of 
Gobind Rai, iv 365 ; vi 27, 30, 
124, 131, 314 n 3, 138 n 1. 

Banda, early history of, v 237 ; 
career in the Panj&b, 246 ; 
execution of, 253. 

Bandai Khalsa, v 250. 

Bandishar, iv 27 n 2. 

Bania, iii 67. 

Banno, compiler of the Granth 

Sahib, i 41 n 5 ; iii 66 ; vi 1,419. 
Baptism of Sikh recruits, Pref. 

xxv ; v 95 n 1. 
Bar, tract in Panjab, Int. Ixx. 
Bards employed by Guru Gobind 

Singh, v 83, 161, 314 n 1. 
Barley rolls, iv 346. 
Barmaid, Indian, vi 155 n 2. 
Baroda, H.H. the Gaekwar of, 

Pref. xxvii. 
Barwanal, i 63 n 3. 
Basali, v 141. 

Basant, Indian spring, i 371 n I. 
Basarka, ii 35, 66. 
Basava, horse dealer, iv 218. 
Batala, birthplace of G. Nanak's 

wife, i 19 n 1, 109, 157, 158. 
Bathing, G. Nanak on, i 146, 152, 

177 n 1, 372 n 1 ; iii 11 ; 

Hindu times for, ii 254 n 2 ; 

G. Gobind Singh's injunctions 

Bathing {continued) — 
regarding, v 161 ; Kabir on, 
vi 214. 

Bawa Wali of Kandhar, i 172. 
Bawan, v 262 n 4. 
Bawan Akhari, iii 168. 
Beauty, thirty-two marks of, vi 

64 n 1. 
Bedis, v 294. 

Beni, Pandit, ii 134; Bhagat, 
vi 88. 

Bentinck, Lord W., Pref. xxii. 

Ber tree, i 122 ; ii 142. 

Betel, use of, iv 179 ; ingredients 

of, 244, 248 n 4 ; as lip-salve, 

vi 256 n 3. 
Betrothal ceremony, iii 76. 
Bhagat Mai, iii 415 n ; vi 2, 3, 5, 

20, 36, 37 n 2, 86, 95 n 1, 100 

n 1, 102, 119, 126 n 1, 131 n 1. 
Bhagat Ratanawali of Mani Singh, 

Int. lxxv, lxxix. 
Bhagats, vi 1 n 1. 
Bhagats of Granth Sahib, vi 1 ; 

authorities for their lives, vi 2. 
Bhagauti, iii 108 n 1. 
Bhagauti ki War, v 81. 
Bhagawad Gita, vi 124 n 1 ; G. 

Har Kishan's reading of, iv 32 1 . 
Bhago, Indian heroine, V213, 215, 


Bhagwan Gir, iv 288. 
Bhagbhari, presents a robe to 

the Guru, iv 61. 
Bhagirath, i 145 ; ii 262 n 1 ; 

vi 162 n 5. 
Bhagtu, Bhai, ii 272 n 1 ; iv 276, 

290, 291. 
Bhai, meaning of, Int. lxxiv n ; 

»i 5- 

Bhairo, mutilator of idol, iv 218. 

Bhai Rupa, iv 151. 

Bhana, Bhai, son of Bhai Buddha, 
iv 125, 142; sent for by G. 
Har Gobind, iv 222 ; conse- 
crates G. Har Rai, iv 235. 

Bhang, i 120, 174 ; v 153 ; vi 71 

113. 314- 

Bhangani, battle of, v 35. 

Bhani, Bibi, daughter of G. Amar 
Das, ii 30 ; marriage with Ram 
Das, ii 91 ; devotion to her 
father, ii 144 ; birth of her son, 
» 93- 

Bharthari, Kingof Ujjain, i 169 n 3 



Bhatinda, legend of, v 221, 222 
n 1. 

Bhattewal, vi 39. 

Bhawani, v 262 n 3. 

Bhikan, Bhagat, vi 1 ; his 
hymns, 416. 

Bhikan Khan, v 20, 30, 40, 42. 

Bhikan Shah, Saiyid, iv 358, 366. 

Bhikha, bard, ii 85. 

Bhikhia, betrothal of his daugh- 
ter Jito, v 2. 

Bhim Chand, Raja of Bilaspur, 
v s, 7 ; visit to G. Gobind 
Singh, 8 ; desires elephant, 8 ; 
scorns Guru, 9 ; quarrel with 
Fateh Shah, 27 ; subsequent 
war, 38, 50. 

Bhoi, Rai, Int. Ixxi. 

Bhringi, iv 247 n 5. 

Bhujangam, Jogi belief, iii 360 
n 1. 

Bhup Chand, Raja of Handflr, 

v 126, 131. 

Bias, river, ii 34, 42, 66, 109, 1 50 ; 
iv 102. 

Bibaris, ii 84 n 1. 

Bibeksar, tank, iv 48. 

Bidhi Chand, iii 22 ; iv 4, 35, 84, 
89, 96, 108, in, 114; early 
history of, iv 154; recovery of 
horse for Guru, iv 158 ; goes 
disguised as magician for 
second horse, iv 175 ; at battle 
of Nathana, iv 181, 186; at 
battle of Kartarpur, iv 204 ; 
visit to Budhan Shah, iv 213; 
sent to Bay of Bengal, where 
he met Sundar Shah, iv 216, 
225 ; death, iv 226. 

Bidur, ii 331 n 1 ; iii 415 ; vi 
41, 252. 

Bigha, land measure, iii 252 n 1. 
Bigotry of Muhammadans, Int. 

Bijli Khan, Nawab of Gorakhpur, 

vi 139. 

Bilaspur, capital of Kahlur, v 6. 
Bilawal, ii 229 n 1. 
Binaipal, v 221. 
Bindhiachal, v 270 n 1. 
Bindraban, i 57 ; vi 347 n 1. 
Birbar, Raja, iii 15. 
Birth, human, vi 289 n 1, 404 n 1. 
Bishan Singh, Raja, iv 348 n 1. 
Bisiar, G. Nanak's visit to, i 93. 

Bismillah, i 240 n 5 ; vi 259 n 1, 

Body, compared to puddle, i 21 
n 4 ; formation of, 198 n 1 ; 
gates of, vi 16 n 2, 169 n 2 and 
3 ; mystical divisions of, 180 
n 1. 

Bohr tree, ii 39 n 1. 

Books, sacred, of Muhammadans, 
i 167 n 1 ; of Hindus, ii 192. 

Boons, four, iii 121 n 1. 

Brahma, god of Creation, i 40 
n 3, 215 n 1, 300 n 1 ; ii 193 
n 1 ; iv 254 n 4, 255 ; sons of, 
vi 128 n 7, 201, 271 n 1. 

Brahmand, mundane egg, iii 230 
n 1. 

Brahmans, power of, Int. xxxix, 
lvii ; duties of, i 255 n I ; 
sacred herbs of, 155 n 1, 307 
n 2 ; cooking of, 1 32 ; cus- 
toms, iii 193 n 1 ; ii 204 n I ; 
iii 317 n 2 ; iv 134 n 1 ; v 74 
n 1 ; rules for, vi 104 n 2 ; 
origin of, 146 n 1 ; Kulin of 
Bengal, vi 338 n 2. 

Brahmaputra, G. Nanak's jour- 
ney on, i 81. 

Brahm Das, Kashmiri Pandit, i 
163, 167. 

Brahm, Shaikh, i 84, 102, 285 ; 
genealogy of, vi 357. 

Brain, nectar distilled from, vi 
16 n 2, 155 n 1. 

Branding with irons, v 279 n 2. 

Breath, five species of, i 99 n 1, 
378 n 2 ; suspension of, i 378 
n 2 ; exercises with, vi 16 n 2. 

Bridal dresses at Farid's shrine, 
vi 375- 

Bridge, of floating stones, vi 
40 n 2 ; to heaven, 334 n 4. 

Brihaspati, teacher of gods, wife 
abducted by moon, vi 81 n 1, 
138 n 2. 

Brooms, Jains' use of, i 151 n 2. 
Browning on transmigration, Int. 

Budha, Bhai, Int. lxxiv, lxxvii, 
meeting with G. Nanak, i 133 ; 
invests G. Angad, ii 11 ; find- 
ing of G. Angad, ii 13 ; invests 
G. Amar Das, ii 43 ; finding 
of G. Amar Das, ii 65 ; receives 
rules of religion from Guru, ii 



Budha (continued) — 

137 ; invests G. Ram Das, ii 
146 ; superintends building of 
tank at Amritsar, ii 271 ; 
teacher of Har Gobind, iii 49 ; 
entrusted with care of Granth 
Sahib, iii 66 ; inaugurates Har 
Gobind, iv 2, 4 ; visit to G. 
Har Gobind at Gualiar, iv 24 ; 
organizes sacred concerts, iv 
57 ; returns to forest life, iv 
70 ; visit to Sri Har Gobind- 
pur, iv 120 ; retires to his vil- 
lage, iv 121 ; vision of G. 
Arjan, iv 125 ; death iv, 127. 

Budha, Int. liii, liv ; i 64 ; iv 345. 

Budhan Shah, meeting with G. 
Nanak, iv 140 ; with Gurdita 
at Kiratpur, iv 142 ; visit of 
Har Gobind to, 2 1 3 ; his death, 

Budhism, sacred books, Pref. v ; 

expulsion of, Int. Iv, Ivii ; 

causes thereof, Int. Iv, ivi. 
Budhu Shah, v 18 ; bravery 37 ; 

Guru's gift, 45. 
BQh, G. Arjan's prediction on, iii 


Bular, Rai, Int. lxxi, lxxii, i 2, 

ii, 15, 19, 21, 31. 
Bull, supporter of earth, i 200 n 2, 

203 n 2. 
Bumble Bees, vi 264 n 1. 
Burnt offerings, i 28 n 3. 
Butter-churning, vi 201 n 2. 

Caesar on German gods, Int. 

Cake, Shaikh Farid's wooden, vi 

368, 398 n 1. 
Calendar, Kabir's, vi 190. 
Call to prayer, Muhammadan, i 

179 n 2. 

Canals of Malwa, v 224 ; canal 

at Pak Pattan, vi 367. 
Carrion, i 281 n 1. 
Caste, Hindu castes, i 16 n 1 ; 

system attacked by Gurus, 

Pref. xxii ; i 278, 283 ; ii 

84, 102 ; iv 220, 248 n 4 ; 

v 93, 101 ; vi 22, 31, 34, 103, 

104, 126, 286 n 6, 319. 
Catechism, Sikh, iv 264. 
Categories, twenty-five, vi 266 

n 4. 

Cattle, trespassing, iii 301 n 1. 
Cemeteries, worship of, iv 293 ; 

prayers in, vi 375. 
Census of Sikh pilgrims at Har- 

dwar, Pref. xx, xxi n. 
Ceylon, i 146, 1 54. 
Chacha Phaggo, iv 345. 
Chaitanya, reformer of Bengal, 

vi 353 113. 
Chakars of body, v 261 n 3 ; vi 

91 n 8. 

Chakor, ii 2 n 3 ; iii 154 ; vi 39. 
Chakwi, ruddy sheldrake, i 271 
n 1. 

Challenges, customs of, iv 179. 

Chamars, vi 342 n 1. 

Chamkaur, battle of, v 186, 202. 

Chana (gram), i 68 n 2. 

Chanakkya, Niti, iv 7 n 4. 

Chandarbans, vi 81 n 1. 

Chanda Singh, Bhai, commenta- 
tor of Granth Sahib, i 202 n 4. 

Chandel, Raja of, v 38. 

Chandi, v 80, 83, 289 n 1. 

Chandu, Emperor's Diwan, iii 70, 
79, 87, 98 ; iv 7, 20, 22, 28, 35. 

Chaparnala (Gurusar), iv 61. 

Charanpahul, initiation cere- 
mony, i 47 n 1. 

Chatrik, pied Indian cuckoo, i 
83 n 6, 139 n 1 ; ii 246 n I. 

Chatur Das, Banaras Pandit, i 61 . 

Chaudhri, ii 28 n 1, 29, 136. 

Chaupar or Chausar, i 7 n 1, 245, 
n 3 ; iii 426 n 1 ; iv 201 ; vi 

Chautala, iv 356. 
Chhajju, water carrier, iv 322. 
Chhitank, weight, iv 278 n I. 
Chhotamir, iv 193, 203. 
Chintamani, jewel, vi 325 n 2. 
Chitaur, ancient capital of Mewar, 

Int. xlix; Rana of, vi 318; 

Mira Bai's temple, 348 n 3. 
Chitrgupt, i 210 n 2. 
Cholha, i 106 ; iii 21. 
Chronograms, vi 94, 98, 384. 
Chronology, Hindu contempt for, 

vi 3. 

Chuni Mandi, birthplace of G. 

Ram Das, ii 87. 
Circumcision, vi 127 n 2. 
Clarified butter (see Ghi). 
Clothes, dyeing, i 42 n 1 ; blue, 

i 1 17 n 1 ; red, ii 226 n 1. 



Concremation of widows, Pref. 

xxii, xxiii ; i 381 ; ii 228 n 1. 
Congress of Orientalists at Rome, 

Pref. xxvii, xxviii. 
Conversion, forcible, of Hindus, 

v 174. 

Cooking square, 143 n 1, 51, 132 ; 

vi 129. 

Corn, staff of life, vi 239. 
Coronation Ode, ii 24, 27 n 2, 58, 

Courtesan, how saved, ii 338 n 1 ; 

iv 251 ; vi 213, 396 n 1. 
Covetousness inveighed against, 

vi 16 n 1. 
Cow, sacrifice of, vi 341 n 4 ; 

calf, vi 118 n 1 ; reanimation 

of, vi 220 n 1 ; vi 28 n 1. 
Cow-dung, i 43 n 1, 242 n 2. 
Crane, vi 413 n 1. 
Creation, i 138 n 4, 195 n 2, 215 

n 1. 

Creator, Indian belief in One, 

Int. Ixi ; i 300 n 1. 
Cremation grounds, worship of, 

iv 293 ; Kabir on, vi 283 n 2. 
Crows, human corpses thrown to, 

vi 340 n 2. 
Cuckoo, pied Indian, i 83 n6, 

139 n 1 ; black Indian, i 139 

n 2. 

Cunningham's History of the 
Sikhs, iv 21 n 1. 

Customs, Indian, i 39 n 2, 65 n 4 
and 7, 76 n 2, 1 1 2 n 1 , 115 n i, 
151-90, 181, 190 n 1 and 2; 
226-348, 279 n 2 ; iii 202 n 2, 
317 n 2 ; iv 250, 66 ; v 9 n 1, 
24 n 1 ; vi 378. 

Dabistan-i-Mazdhib, iii 100 n I ; 

iv 21 n, 212, 217, 239. 
Dadhlch, vi 108. 
Dadu, saint, v 227. 
Dadupanthis, vi 140. 
Daityas, ii 160 n 1. 
Dakaits, vi 20. 
Dal, ii 32 n 1 ; vi 1 1 1 n 3. 
Dalla village, ii 22, 66 ; iv 5 1. 
Dalla Singh, v 223, 226. 
Dam, ii 1 14 n 1. 
Damdama, ii 35 ; iv 336. 
Damodri, wife of G. Har Gobind, 

iii 80 ; iv 50, 56, 76, 151, 223. 
Damri, coin, i 16 n 2. 

Dance, religious, i 183, 305 n 1 ; 

v 22 ; vi 211 n 2. 
Dand, v 275 n 3. 
Dani, Bibi, daughter of G. Amar 

Das, ii 30, 89. 
Dan Singh, v 211, 217. 
Daxa Shikoh, iv 277, 298, 300, 

302, 303. 
Daroli, iv 51, 54, 146. 
DarSd, iii 419 n 2. 
Darwesh, i 55. 
Dasarath, iv 271 n 1. 
Dasahra, ii 254 n 2. 
Dasu, son of G. Angad, ii 1 , 42, 44. 
Daswen Padshah ka Granth, v 

223 n 1. 
Dattatre, ii 69 n 1 ; iv 288. 
Datu, son of G. Angad, ii 1, 42, 

44. 63 ; iii 59- 
Daula Shah, of Gujrat, iv 64 n 2, 


Daulat Khan, i 33, 36, 37. 
Daya Kaur, mother of G. Angad, 
ii 1. 

Daya Kaur, mother of G, Ram 

Das, ii 87. 
Daya Ram, father-in-law of G. 

Har Rai, iv 225. 
Daya Singh, one of the five 

beloved of G. Gobind Singh, 

v 91, 140, 159, 168. 
Dayal, Raja of Bijharwal, v 52. 
Deadly sins, i 1 3 n 1 . 
Dead, disposal of the, ii 222 ; vi 

340 n 2. 

Death, belief in existence after, 
Int. Ixv, lxix ; i 89 n 1, 201 
n 4 ; ii 302 ; G. Har Gobind 
on, iv 34 ; messenger of, vi 
226 n 3 ; of holy men, vi 230 
n 3 ; noose of, vi 42 n 3 ; 
havoc created by, vi 409 n 3 ; 
god of (see Dharmraj), river 
Jamna protects from, vi 198 
n 4 ; as angler vi 285 n 5. 

Death at will, i 181 ; ii 117 ; iii 
3, 100 ; iv 64, 224, 298. 

Defilement, Gurus deprecate 
Hindu ideas of, i 47, 51, 132, 

Dehra Baba Nanak, i 180; iv 

127, 288. 
Dehra Dun, residence of Ram 

Rai, v. 17. 
Deoglri, vi 32. 



Dera Ghazi Khan, i 123. 

Destiny regulated by the Su- 
preme Deity, i 178 n 2, 214 
n 2 ; ii 322 n 1 ; iii 154 n 3 ; iv 
1 14 ; v 122 ; vi 68 n I. 

Devaki, mother of Krishan, i 57 
n 1, 305 n4. 

Devi Mahdtamya, see Durga Sapt 

Devotees, self-immolation of, i 
274 n 1. 

Devotions, Sikh, i 1 36 ; nine 

forms of, iii 108 n 2. 
Dhak-tree, vi 280 n 1, 295. 
Dhaka, iv 352. 

Dhanna Bhagat, vi 1, 105, 106 

n 2 ; hymns of, 109. 
Dhariwal, vi 39. 

Dharm Das, successor of Kabir, 
vi 141 n 1. 

Dharmraj, god of death, i 126 
n 1, 201 114; ii 148; iii 178 
n 1, 277 n s, 417 n 1 ; vi 42 
n 3, 61 n 4, 210 n 3, 285 n 5, 
292 n 2. 

Dharmsal, i 47 n 2. 

Dhatiira, vi 7 1 n 3. 

Dhaulpur, battle of, v 230, 

Dhava plant, i 158 n 4. 

Dhilwan, v 209, 225. 

Dhir Mai, son of Gurditta and 
grandson of G. Har Gobind, 
birth of, iv 1 29 ; his treachery, 

iv 202 ; aspires to be Guru and 
takes possession of Granth 
Sahib, iv 213; message to 
Emperor Shah Jahan, iv 215 ; 
his continual disloyalty and 
disobedience, iv 208. 

Dhoti, i 239 n 2, 240 n 4 ; v 147 

n 1 ; vi 92 n 5. 
Dhru, i 215 n 3 ; iii, 414 ; vi 24. 
Dhubri, capital of Kamrup, iv 


Dialects and languages of the 
present work, Pref. v, vi, xv, 
xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii. 

Digambar, i 310 n 2 ; ii 336. 

Dihli, ii 20; iv 15, 24; v 295 
n 3 ; vi 28, 366, 373, 375. 

Dikpals, v 299 n 1. 

Dilawar Khan, v 55. 

Dina, v 200, 207. 

Din Beg, Muhammadan General, 

v 124. 

Dipalpur, i 106. 
Directions, ten, vi 192 n 2. 
Disciples, duties of, i 75 n 4. 
Dit Singh, Bhai, Pref. xxx ; 

Int. lxxxvii ; v 84 n 1. 
Divination by sacred books, Int. 


Diwali, ii 79 n 1 ; vi 295 n 1. 
Diwana. faqlrs, v 218. 
Doab district, ii 109 ; iv 4, 102. 
Dogras, i 46 n 5. 

Donkey, use of, iii 165 n 1 ; 

Sitala's, vi 57 n 2. 
Doulagarh, capital of Bengal, i 

169 n 3. 

Dowson's Hindu Mythology, i 382 
n 1. 

Draupadi or Panchali, iv 408 

n 1 ; vi 104. 
Dravidian country, G. Nanak's 

visit to, i 147. 
Dress, nobleman's, iv 227 ; Sikh's 

v 95, 147 n 1, 215 n 1 ; God 

without distinctive, v 285 n 2. 
Drum of G. Gobind Singh, v 5 n 1 . 
Duality (Dwait), i 165 n 5 ; vi 

66 n 1, 309. 
Dukhbhanjani, ii 142, 269 ; leper 

at, 267. 
Dums, minstrels, i 33, 52 n I. 
Duni Chand, i 129; v 129, 133, 


Durbasa, vi 47 n 4. 

Durga, goddess, i 138 n 1, 166 
n 6, 183 ; ii 1 n 1, 3, 133 ; iii 
6 n 1, 45 ; v 60, 61 n 1, 1 14 n 1, 
286 n 1 ; vi 57 n 2, 1 17. 

Durga Prabodh, v 84 n 1. 

Durga Sapt Shaii, v 80 n 2. 

Duryodhan, Kaurav prince, iv 
408 111; vi 252. 

Dwaraka, i 144 n 1 ; ii 93 ; v 
279 n 1 ; vi 23, 30, 53 n 1, 113. 

Dying thoughts, effect of, i 67 
n 1 ; vi 80 n 1 . 

Earrings, banker's, vi J79 n 1. 
Earth, nine ancient divisions of, 

i 30 n 1 ; flora of the, i 282 n I ; 

support of, v 225. 
Ecstasy, Jogis' state of, vi 17 n 2, 

91 n 6. 

Education, Indian system of, i 3. 
Effort encouraged, i 253. 
Egg, world as, i 1 16 n 2. 



Elders, ii 234 n 1. 
Ekshabdis, iii 108 n 3. 
Elect, i 202 n 3. 

Elements, five, i 178 n 4 ; ii 198 
n 1 ; of body, vi 169 n 2, 3. 

Eleocarpus, berries of, vi 93 n 2. 

Elephant, raising of the emperor 
Ibrahim Lodi's, i 56 ; saved 
by thinking of God, iii 41 5 n I ; 
presented to G. Gobind Singh, 
v 4 ; made drunk for battle, 

v 134 ; men's fights with, v 
135 n 1 ; trapping of, vi 172 
n 1. 

Elliot, Sir Henry, History of 
India, Int. xlix n. 

Ellora, caves of, vi 32. 

Elphinstone's History of India, 
iv 350 n 2. 

Emanation from Primal Being, 
Soul an, Int. lxviii. 

Eminabad, or Saiyidpur, i 43. 

End of world, G. Arjan on, iii 161. 

English occupation of India, 
Guru's prophecy, Pref. xviii, 
xix ; iv 381 ; G. Gobind Singh 
on, v 107, 157 ; account of 
death of Banda, v 252. 

Equality, G. Nanak's principles 
of, i 192 ; of man, Kabir on, 

vi 249. 

Eternal life, food of, ii 221. 
Ether, i 178 n 4. 

European and Indian conditions, 

analogy of, Int. xl. 
Exaltation of brain, vi 246 n 4, 5. 
Exercises, devotional, of Sikhs, 

i 136 ; iv 252. 
Existences, i 5 n 1 ; vi 42 n 1, 63. 
Exultations of poets, vi 10 n 1. 

Faqirs, customs of, i 230 n 1 ; iii 
360 n 2, 429 n ; v 274 n 1, 300 
n2, 303n3; vi nn 1,379; rules 
for, 386 ; clothes, 401 n 3. 

Farid, Shaikh, i 52 n 3, 84, 92 ; 
his penance, iv 60 ; vi 1 ; his 
life, 356, 414. 

Faridkot, iv 4 n ; vi 381, 382. 

Farishta, historian, vi 383 n 1, 
384 n 1. 

Farrukh Shah, Emperor, v 251, vi 

Fasts, Hindu, 11 240 ; in 420 n 2 ; 
eleventh day, vi 25, 51. 

Fatah Shah, Raja of Garhwal, v 
8, 16, 18 ; marriage of daugh- 
ter arranged, v 24 ; quarrel 
with Raja Bhim Chand, v 27. 

Fatah Singh, great grandson of 
Bhai BMgu, v 226. 

Fatah Singh, son of G. Gobind 
Singh, v 60, 97, 195 ; death of, 
v 198. 

Fatahgarh, fort, v 129. 

Fate, i 178 n 2, 214 n 2. 

Father-in-law's house, world as, 
i 74 n 7. 

Fatiha, Quran, i 125 n 1. 

Faust, iii 238 n 1. 

Feet, reverence of the, iv 255. 

Festivals, ten Hindu, iv 254 
n 3- 

Fevers, three, vi 73 n 1. 

Fig-tree, vi 137. 

Filial duties of Sikhs, iv 270. 

Firdausi, poet, v 205 n 2. 

Fire, five fires, i 70 n 2 ; penance 
of five fires, i 358 n 1 ; a 
purifier, iii 221 n 2 ; inherent 
in timber, iii 339 n 1 ; sacri- 
ficial, iii 17. 

Firmament, ii 231 n 1 ; Muham- 
mad'an conception of, vi 155 
n 4. 

Firozpur, iv 4 n. 

Firoz Shah Tuglak, Emperor, 
Int. xliv, lxxi. 

Five rivers, land of, Pref. xxv. 

Flesh, G. Nanak on, i 47. 

Flora of the earth, i 282 n 1. 

Food, unlawful, i 39 n 2 ; thirty- 
six palatable dishes, i 97 n 2 ; 
sacred, i 182, 185 ; of eternal 
life, ii 221 ; G. Har Rai on 
impure, iv 281 ; Malak Das, 
iv 343 ; for manes, iv 346 n 1 ; 
Brahman's, v 61 ; Hindu 
sacred, v 114 n 1 ; impure, v 
1 52 n 1 ; vi 319 ; distribution 
of, v 105. 

Fool, association with, ii 235. 

Four days, i 187 n 3 ; Ages, i 4 

France, v 286. 

Frog in a well, vi 323 n 1. 

Fruit of immortality, Gopi 

Chand's, i 169 n 3. 
Funeral service of Sikhs, i 190 



Gaekwar of Baroda, H.H. the, 

Pref. xxvii. 
Gainda, son of Desu, iv 340. 
Gajja Singh, Mahant, Pref. xxvi. 
Gajmoti, ih 311 n 1. 
Gandharbs, v 319 n 2. 
Ganesh, i 138 n 2 ; vi 35, 58 n 2, 

93 n 1, 138 n 3. 
Ganga, wife of G. Arjan, iii 1, 29, 

90 ; iv 3, 12, 33, 49, 69. 
Ganga Ram, merchant, iii 9. 
Ganga Ram, cousin of G. Gobind 

Singh, v 2. 
Ganga Sagar, vi 105. 
Gangasar, iii 26. 
Gangeris, v 273 n 1. 
Ganges, Pref. xx ; i 144 n 1, 

294 n 4 ; ii 254 n 2 ; iii 26 ; 

iv 365 ; vi 69 n 1, 151 n 3, 

268 n 2. 

Garhia, Bhai, of Kashmir, iv 123. 
Garments, five, iv 188 n 3. 
Garur, or Garuda, vi 29 n 1, 81 

n 1, 87 n 2. 
Garur Puran, iv 123. 
Gate, i 159 n 1. 
Gatha, iii 434 n 1. 
Gaur Brahmans, vi 105. 
Gawar, iii 208 n 2. 
Gaya, i 64 ; iv 346, 347 n 1 ; vi 


Gayatri, i 166 n 4, 237 n I ; ii 

108 ; vi 58 n 1. 
Ghar, i 278 n 1. 
Ghara, iv 170 n 2. 
Ghari, i 5 n 2 ; vi 28 n 1, 400 n 1. 
Ghazni, King of, vi 359, 370. 
Gherar, iv 102. 
Ghi, i 243 n 1 ; iv 276. 
Ghogha's repentance, iv 367. 
Ghulam Muhai-ul-Din, historian, 


Ghuman, vi 35, 39. 

Ghumand Chand, Raja of Kan- 

gra, v 136. 
Ghyas-ul-DIn Tughlak, Emperor, 

vi 390. 

Girdhari, shop-keeper, ii 79. 

GJtgovind, vi 5 ; English transla- 
tion of, vi 7 n 1, 9. 

Gobind, founder of Goindwal, ii 

Gobind Singh, Guru, Pref. xii, 
xvi, xviii, xxv ; Int. xlix, Iii, 
lxiii, lxxiv, lxxvii ; birth, iv 


Gobind Singh (continued) — 
3S7> 3S9 n 1 ! Bhikan Shah's 
visit, iv 358 ; practises arms, 
iv 363 ; departure for Anand- 
pur, iv 365 ; visits Chhota 
Mirzapur, Banaras, Ajudhia, 
Lakhnau, Lakhnaur, and Kirat- 
pur, iv 365, 366, 367 ; arrival 
at Anandpur, iv 368 n 1 ; his 
father's affection, iv 371 ; 
message from his father in 
prison, iv 383 ; his answer, iv 
385 ; execution of his father, 

iv 387 ; becomes Guru, iv 389 ; 
cremation of G. Teg Bahadur's 
head, iv 390 ; practice of 
archery, v 1 ; Vichitar Natak, 

v 1 n 1 ; his companions, v 2 ; 
his marriage, v 2 ; Raja Ratan 
Rai's presents, v 4 ; army in- 
creased and drum made, v 5 ; 
visit of Raja Bhim Chand, v 7 ; 
effort of the latter to obtain 
elephant, v 8 ; Guru's refusal, 
v 13 ; preparations for war, 
v 15 ; departure for Nahan, v 
16 ; fort built at Paunta, v 17 ; 
visit to Ram Rai, v 20 ; com- 
poses poetry, v 22 ; death of 
Ram Rai, v 22 ; Guru's depar- 
ture for Dehra Dun to punish 
masands, v 23 ; resumes quarrel 
with Raja Bhim Chand, v 26 ; 
war declared, v 29 ; disloyalty 
of Pathan soldiers, v 31 ; 
Guru's description of Paunta 
battle, v 39 n 1, 44 ; gifts to 
Budhu Shah, v 45 ; visit of 
Rani of Raipur, v 48 ; returns 
to Anandpur, v 49 ; reconcilia- 
tion with Raja Bhim Chand, 
v 51 ; Ajit Singh born, v 51 ; 
battle of Nadaun, v 53 ; Zora- 
war Singh born, v 55 n 1 ; 
alliance with Raja Gopal, v 58 ; 
Jujhar Singh born, v 59 ; Fatah 
Singh born, v 60 ; interview 
with Kesho Brahman, v 62 ; 
Ram Avatar translated, v 67 ; 
the Guru on idolatry, v 67 ; 
dialogue of the princess and 
the Brahman, v 69 ; transla- 
tion of Hindu works, v 83 ; 
decision to abolish masands, 
v 86 ; on hair, v 89 ; tests 



Gobind Singh (continued) — 
devotion of Sikhs, v 91 ; estab- 
lishes the pahul and the 
KMlsa, v 93 ; address to his 
Sikhs, v 93 ; preparation of 
Amrit, v 95 ; rules for mem- 
bers of the Khalsa, v 95 ; his 
own baptism, v 96 ; advocates 
wearing of arms, v 102 ; visits 
to his kitchen, v 105 ; on 
sacred music, v 106 ; pro- 
phecies on advent of the 
English, v 107, 157 ; pre- 
scribes rules for Sikhs, v 109 ; 
envoy from hill chiefs, v 114 ; 
preparation of sacred food, v 
114; rules for salvation, v 1 16 ; 
surprised by hill chiefs, v 1 20 ; 
complaints against the Guru 
to the Emperor, v 121 ; de- 
feat of Emperor's troops at 
Anandpur, v 124 ; hill chiefs 
combine against the Guru, v 
1275 battle, v 130; siege, v 
132 ; repeated complaints to 
Emperor Aurangzeb, v 137 ; 
the Sikhs depart to Nirmoh, 
v 138 ; plot to assassinate the 
Guru, v 139; he retires to 
Rasali, v 141 ; visits Bhabaur, 
v 141 ; returns to Anandpur, 
v 142 ; discountenances wear- 
ing jewellery, v 149 nij in- 
veighs against tobacco, v 153 
n 1 ; Ajmer Chand causes 
renewal of hostilities, v 154; 
victory of the Sikhs, v 155 ; 
further instructions to the 
Sikhs, v 157 ; imperial forces 
again attack the Guru, v 162 ; 
siege of Anandpur, v 168 ; the 
Guru proves the treachery of 
the hill chiefs, v 178 ; letter 
from Emperor, v 179 ; desire 
of the Sikhs for capitulation, 
v 180 ; safe conduct promised, 
v 184 ; evacuation of Anand- 
pur, v 185 ; renunciation deeds, 
v 184 ; march through Kirat- 
pur to Ropar, v 185 ; the Guru 
proceeds to Chamkaur, v 186 ; 
and sends members of his 
family to Dihli, v 186 ; again 
attacked, v 187 ; appoints five 
Sikhs to the Guruship, v 189 ; 

Gobind Singh (continued) — 
escapes to Machhlwara forest, 
v 190 ; his mother arrested, v 
195 ; death of his mother and 
sons, v 198 ; his Zafarnama, 
v 201 ; deputation from Man- 
jha Sikhs, v 211 ; defeat at 
Khidrana, v 213; visit to 
Dalla at Damdama, v 219 ; 
rejoined by his wives, v 219 ; 
dictates the Granth Sahib to 
Mani Singh, v 223 ; Dalla bap- 
tized, v 223 ; the Guru fines 
himself at Dadudwara, v 228 ; 
consulted by Emperor Baha- 
dur Shah, v 230 ; visits Dihli 
and rears a temple to his father, 
v 230 ; arrival at Agra, v 232 ; 
religious discussion with Baha- 
dur Shah, v 232, 233 ; de- 
mands Wazir Khan's life, v 
234 ; travels with Emperor, 
v 235 ; visits Puna and pro- 
ceeds to Nander, v 238 ; gives 
Banda a mission, v 239 ; 
Guru's wife sent to Dihli, v 
240 ; the Guru attacked with a 
poniard, v 241 ; wounds re- 
open, v 242 ; appoints the 
Granth and the Khalsa his 
successor, v 244 ; death, v 
245 ; compositions, v 260 ; 
the Guru on God, v 262 ; on 
penances and austerities, v 
270 ; baptismal rites, v 263, 

Gobind Singh, Sadhu, author of 
Itihas Guru KMlsa, iv 1 n 1, 
204 n 1. 

God, man's conception of, Int. 
lxii ; Moses' conception of, Int. 
lxvi; Greek and Sikh do., 
Int. lxii n, Ixiii ; not anthropo- 
morphic, Int. Ixiii, lxiv ; as 
husband, i 6 n 3 ; as Bairagi, 
i 141 n 1 ; assayer, i 355 n 2 ; 
relationship to man, hi 118; 
orders to God, iii 193 n 1 ; 
man's account with, iii 194 n 2 ; 
conferrer of blessings, iii 211 
n 1 ; uncreated, iii 260 n 1 ; 
as milk, 318 n 1 ; creation, iv 
17 n 2 ; as destroyer, v 77 ; 
servants of, v 103 n 1 ; dwell- 
ings of, v 67 n 2 ; immortal, v 



God (continued) — 

243 ; source of bravery, v 261 
n 4, 313 n 1 ; omniscience of, 
263 n 1 ; greatness of, v 269 ; 
infinite, v 305 n 1 ; Author of 
all acts, v 308 n 1 ; above 
censure, v 312 n 1 ; universe 
evolved from, 331 n 1 ; belief 
in unity of, vi 1 ; source of 
souls, vi 17 n 2 ; omnipresence, 
vi 41, 292 n 5 ; iii 83, 120 n I, 
150. 337 n 1 ; iv 15 n 2, 146, 
254 ns, 370; v 98 n 1, 233; 
vi 32 n 1, 124. 

God of death, see Dharmraj. 

Godavari river, v 236. 

Goindwai, i 107 ; ii 34, 68, 87, 
284 ; iv 32. 

Golden Temple, iii 3, 9, 10. 

Golkanda, v 51 n 1. 

Gomti, vi 202 n 2. 

Gonabai, mother of Namdev, vi 

Gonda, Bhai, iv 284. 

Gong, vi 400 n 1. 

' Good people ', iii 229 n 2. 

Gopal Chand, cousin of G. 

Gobind Singh, v 2. 
Gopalpur, vi 23. 

Gopi Chand, King of Bengal, i 
169 n 3, 

Gorakh, or Gorakhnath.i 41 n 2 ; 

shrine of, i 172 ; ii 140. 
Gorakhmata, i 59 n 1 ; iv 50. 
Gotrachar, vi 209 n 7. 
Gram, i 68 n 2. 

Grandfather's duties, ii 234 n 1. 

Granth Sahib, languages of, Pref . 
vi, xv ; sanctity of, Pref. xvi ; 
contents of, Int. Ii ; G. Gobind 
Singh, Int. Ii, Iii ; Dharmsa.1, i 
47 n 2 ; Gurumukhi adopted 
for, by G. Angad, ii 56; Har 
Mandar built for its reception, 

iii 9; G. Arjan's compila- 
tion, iii 595 arrangement of 
hymns, iii 61 ; emperor orders 
erasure of hymns, iii 91 ; 
Granth entrusted to Bhai 
Budha, iii 66 ; slok sung at 
opening of, iii 183 n 1 ; Banno's 
and Bhai Bidhi Chand's copies, 

iv 189 ; Granth appropriated 
by Dhir Mai, iv 213 ; G. Har 
Gobind's trial of Ram Rfii and 

Granth Sahib (continued) — 
Har Krishan, iv 311 ; brought 
to G. Teg Bahadur, iv 334 ; 
returned to Dhir Mai, iv 337 n ; 
Tenth Guru's Granth at Dam- 
dama, iv 393 n 1 ; at Raipur, 
v 48 n 1 ; G. Gobind Singh 
on mispronunciation of words, 
v 106 ; editions of, v 223 n 1. 

Grih (Grah), iii 305 n 2. 

Gualiar, iv 22 n 1. 

Gubernatis, Count A de, Pref. 
xxvii, xxviii. 

Ghudda, Diwana, v 218. 

Gugga, v 158 n 1. 

Gujari, wife of G. Teg Bahadur, 

iv 33i> 344. 348, 357, 3<54, 379, 
386 ; v 5, 195, 199. 

Gulab Rai, grandson of Suraj 
Mai, iv 363 ; v 2, 49, 185, 257. 

Gul Bagh, horse, iv 157, 161, 187. 

Gumti, vi 61 n 3. 

Gurbaksh Singh Bhai, or Ram 
Kaur, Int. lxxvii ; 19 n 1 ; 

v 1 n 1, 95, 137. 

Guy Bilas, Pref. xiii ; iv 1 n 1, 
168 n 1, 368. 

Gur Das, Bhai, Int. lxiii, lxxiii, 
lxxiv, lxxv, Ixxxvi ; iii 55, 82, 
8 3 ; on religion before advent of 
G. Nanak, i 100 n 2, 191 ; on 
succession of G. Angad, ii 12 ; 
on accession of G. Ram Das, ii 
149 ; visit to G. Ram Das, ii 
264 ; writes at Arjan's dicta- 
tion, ii 60, 63 ; appointed to 
spiritual duties at Har Man- 
dar, iv 13 ; on difficulties of 
Sikhism, iv 133 ; G. Har Go- 
bind's test, iv 134; flight to 
Banaras, iv 135 ; sent back to 
Amritsar under arrest, iv 1 37 ; 
death, iv 144 ; analysis of 
Sikh religion, iv 241. 

Gurdas, iv 308. 

Gurdaspur, i 109 ; vi 39, 40. 

Gurditta, son of G. Har Gobind, 
iv 56 ; his son Dhir Mai born, 
iv 129 ; Gurditta adopted by 
Sri Chand, iv 130 ; founded 
Kiratpur, iv 140 ; his son Har 
Rai born, iv 145 ; battle of 
Kartarpur, iv 203 ; kills As- 
man Khan, iv 210 ; raises cow 
to life, iv 220 ; death, iv 221. 



Gurdwara, i 47 n 2. 
Gurmat Prabhakar, ii 254 n 2. 
Gurmat_ Sudhdkar, iii 6 n 1. 
Guv Tirath Sangrah, iv 64 n 3, 
321 n 1. 

Guru, meaning of, i 4 n 3 ; true, 

iii 251 n 1, 265 n 1, 316 n 2 ; 

iv 59 n 1. 

Gurumukhi , Int. 1, lxxxvi, lxxxvii ; 
lives of G. Nanak, Int. lxxiii ; 
Panjabi alphabet, ii 56 ; iii 
50, 82. 

Gurus, lives of, Pref. xv, xvii ; 
Int. lxxvi, lxxvii ; i 1 ; ii 1, 
58, 253 5 iii 1 ; iv 1, 275, 315, 
331 ; simplicity of language 
of, Pref. vi; disciples' love 
for, iv 261 ; twenty- two at 
Bakala, iv 332. 

Gurusar, temple, iv 61, 187 ; v 
207 n 1. 

Gyani, Pref. vi, vii, ix, xiii, xiv, 

Gyan Pavbodh, v 308. 
Gyan Ratanawali, Int. lxxv ; 

i 182 n 3. 
Gyandev, vi 27 n i, 30. 

Hadfe, iii 19 n 1 ; vi 386. 
Haidarabad, Nizam of, v 246 n 1. 
Hair, i224ni; v 90 n 1,91, 97, 

136, 255, 258 n 1, 300 n 2 ; vi 

209 n 1, 225 n 2. 
Haiyat Khan, revolt of, v 20. 
Haji, i 166 n 5. 

Halaku, captor of Baghdad, vi 

359 n 2. 
Hamid, Khalifa, vi 376, 377. 
Handal of Jandiala, Int. lxxx, 

lxxxi ; ii 262. 
Hansi, vi 366. 

Hanuman, i 382 ; iv 158 ; v 53, 
114 n 1 ; vi 3, 56 n 2, 81 n I. 

Haqlqat, i 13 n 2. 

Har, month, iv 373. 

Har, God's name, ii 330 n 1. 

Harchandauri, mirage, iii 306 n 1. 

Hardwar, ii 87, 109 ; iii 26. 

Hare's flesh, v 152 n 1. 

Har Gobind, Guru, birth, iii 35 ; 
life attempted by Prithi Chand, 
i« 37> 39» 47 5 attacked by 
small-pox, iii 42 ; recovery, iii 
47 ; education by Bhai Budha, 
iii 49 ; marriage, iii 80 ; ap- 
sikh vi F 

Har Gobind (continued) — 
pointed successor of G. Arjan, 

iii 90 ; adopts a martial style 
of dress, iv 2 ; enlists soldiers, 

iv 4 ; mode of life, iv 5 ; corre- 
spondence with Chandu, iv 8 ; 
message from the Emperor 
Jahangir, iv 1 1 ; departure for 
Dihli, iv 14 ; saves life of 
Emperor, iv 18 ; hostility of 
Chandu, iv 20 ; the Guru sent 
to Gualiar fort, iv 21 ; visited 
by Bhai Budha, iv 24 ; made 
surety for Rajas, iv 26 ; re- 
visits Emperor, iv 28 ; punish- 
ment of Chandu, iv 30 ; visited 
by Empress Nur Jahan, iv 3 1 ; 
hostility of Mihrban, iv 36, 37 ; 
horse bought for him by Sujan 
seized by Emperor's order, iv 
38 ; Guru visits Mian Mir, iv 
41 ; protects Kaulan, iv 47 ; 
enlists Pathans, iv 52 ; miracle 
of pipal-tree, iv 53 ; birth of 
son Gurditta, iv 56 ; Har 
Gobind's return to Amritsar, 
iv 57 ; birth of son Atal Rai, 
iv 68 ; son Teg Bahadur born, 
iv 70 ; remonstrance of the 
Sikhs, iv 76 ; Sikh appropria- 
tion of Emperor Shah Jahan's 
white hawk, iv 79 ; prepara- 
tions for vacating Amritsar, iv 
8 1 ; takes part in the battle, iv 
88 ; imperial envoy proposes 
peace, iv 90 ; Ruhela selected 
as residence during the rains, 
iv 101 ; Guru's interview with 
Gherar, iv 103 ; founding of 
Sri Har Gobindpur, iv 105 ; 
expedition of Abdulla Khan, 
Subadar of Jalandhar, against 
Guru, iv 107 ; battle of the 
Bias, iv 108 ; kills Abdulla 
Khan, Karam Chand, and 
Ratan Chand, iv 116; takes 
a last farewell of Bhai Budha, 
iv, 125 ; returns to Amritsar, 
iv 128 ; Baba Atal and Mohan, 
iv 130; death of Baba Atal, 
iv 131 ; Gur Das's pride pun- 
ished, iv 134; arrest of Gur 
Das, iv 137 ; betrothal of Teg 
Bahadur, iv 138 ; visits Sadhu 
and Rup Chand, iv 1 50 ; found- 



Har Gobind (continued) — 

ing of Bhai Rupa, iv 1 5 1 ; Bidhi 
Chand, iv 153, 154; recovers 
horses, iv 158, 178 ; battle of 
Nathana, iv 181 ; Guru kills 
Lala Beg and obtains victory, 
iv 185, 186; marriage of Teg 
Bahadur, iv 189 ; dismissal of 
Painda Khan, iv 193 ; revenge 
of the latter, iv 195 ; battle of 
Kartarpur, iv 204, 205 ; death 
of Painda Khan, iv 209 ; tenets 
of the Sikhs, iv 219; anger 
against Gurditta, iv 220 ; visit 
of Anand Rai, iv 228 ; pre- 
parations for death, iv 231 ; 
contumacy of Dhir Mai, iv 232 ; 
on the celebration of the Holi, 
iv 235 ; consecration of Har 
Rai, iv 23s ; G. Har Gobind's 
death, iv 238 ; his five sons, 
iv 275. 

Hari, ii 329 n 1. 

Hari Chand, father-in-law of G. 
Har Gobind, iii 77 ; iv 50, 146. 

Hari Chand, Raja of Handur, v 
24, 36, 38,41,43,44. 

Hari Das, father of G. Ram Das, 

ii 87, 91. 

Hari Das, Governor of Gualiar 

fort, iv 22, 23, 26. 
Harike, ii 1, 29. 
Haripur, Kangra, ii 60. 
Harishchandar, son of Trisanku, 

iii 306 n 1. 

Har Krishan, Guru, son of G. 
Har Rai, birth, iv 315, in- 
stalled as Guru, 314; age on 
succession, iv 315 ; Aurang- 
zeb's summons, iv 318 ; Raja 
Jai Singh's embassy, iv 320 ; 
Guru's departure for Dihli, iv 
320 ; discussion on the Bhag- 
vvat Gita, iv 321 ; message to 
Aurangzeb, iv 322 ; Guru's 
power tested, iv 324 ; seized 
with fever, iv 325 ; small-pox 
developed, iv 327 ; death and 
cremation, iv 330. 

Har Lai, Pandit of Banaras, ii 63, 

Har Mandar, temple, 111 3, 9, 10, 
14 ; iv 13, 14, 336 ; v 108 n 1. 

Harnakhas, father of Prahlad, ii 
160 n 1. 

Har Rai, Guru, son of Gurditta 
and grandson of G. Har Go- 
bind, born, iv 145 ; betrothal 
of, iv 225 ; tenderness for 
flowers, iv 227 ; consecration 
as Guru, iv 235 ; mode of life, 
iv 276 ; his standing army, iv 
277 ; cure of Emperor's son, 
iv 279 ; the poor woman's 
bread, iv 280 ; adventure with 
a python, iv 282 ; visit of the 
hill Rajas, iv 287 ; Bhagat 
Bhagwan, iv 288 ; episode of 
Bhagtu, iv 291 ; patronizes 
the Marhaj tribe, iv 293 ; 
receives a visit from Kala and 
his nephews Sandali and Phul, 
prophesies Phul's greatness, iv 
294 ; Gaura protects Guru's 
family, miracle of Guru, iv 
297 ; Aurangzeb's ascension, 
iv 300 ; Dara Shikoh seeks 
the Guru's protection, iv 301 ; 
the Guru sent- for by Aurang- 
zeb, iv 304 ; Ram Rai sent in- 
stead, iv 307 ; Har Krishan 
chosen as the Guru's successor, 
iv 311 ni; death of G. Har 
Rai, iv 314. 

Hasan Abdal, i 171. 

Hastinapur or Dihli, i 169 n 1 ; 
vi 28. 

Hat used by faqirs for initia- 
tion, iv 188 n 1. 

Hath .Jog," i 228 n 2 ; vi 90. 

Hathi Singh, v 254, 256. 

Hawk, Emperor Shah Jahan's, 
iv 79 ; parable, v 216. 

Hazara Singh, Bhai, Pref. xii, 


Hazare Shabd, v 326. 

Heart reversed, vi 222 n 1 ; lotus 
in, vi 243 n 1. 

Heaven, Kabir on, vi 1 39 n ; 
Muhammadan conception of, 
vi 1 55 n 4 ; described by nega- 
tives, vi 165. 

Hells, seven, v 284 n 1 ; Kabir 
on, vi 139 n 1. 

Hem Kunt, golden peak, v 296 
n 1. 

Hermit, see Sanyasis. 
Heron, i 46 n 2. 
Hide, uses of, ^317. 
Hikayat, v 260 n 1. 



Hillock hurled at G. Nanak, i 172. 
Himaiti Nala, stream, v 176. 
Himalayas, i 144 n 1. 
Himat Singh of Jagannath, v 92, 

Hinduism, Sikh reversion to, 
Pref. xxiii ; Int. lvi, lvii ; 
remarkable prophecies, Pref. 
xviii; under Jahangir, Int. 
xlvi; under Aurangzeb, Int. 
xlvi-xlix ; Muhammadan rule, 
Int. xli-xliv, xlix ; vitality of, 
Int. lvii ;.iii 43, 61, 71, 96 n 1, 
202 n 2 ; iv 272 ; vi 54 n 1 ; 
90 n s, 95, 97, 101, 102, 104 
n 2, 107 n 1, 118, 119 n 1, 192 
n 4. 

Hindus, four sects of, vi 95. 
Hingula, goddess, v 286 n 1. 
Hira Ghat, v 239. 
Hira Singh, H.H. the Raja of 

Nabha, Pref. xxvi. 
Hoi, goddess of small-pox, vi 

295 n 1. 
Hola Mahalla, Int. lxxxvi n. 
Holi, Saturnalia, i 65 n 7 ; iv 233 


Horn, i 28 n 3 ; 111 204 n 2. 
Honour, protecting, iii 44 n 3. 
Horns, blowing of, i 60 n 3. 
Horse, iv 39, 156, 161, 169, 179, 

341 ; vi 54 n 1, 156. 
Hour, ambrosial, ii 248 n 1. 
Hujra, iii 18 n 5 ; vi 385. 
Huma, see Anal. 
Human birth, i 335 n 1. 
Humayun, i 1 10 n I ; ii 19, 20. 
Hunchback, ii 338 n 2. 
Husain Shah, faqir, ii 137. 
Husband, God as, i 6 n 3 ; Indian 

husband a god to his wife, i 76 


Hymns, of G. Nanak, i 261 ; of 
G. Angad, ii 46 ; of G. Amar 
Das, ii 154 ; of G. Ram Das, 
ii 286 ; of G. Arjan, iii 102 ; 
of G. Teg Bahadur, iv 393 ; of 
G. Gobind Singh, v 261 ; of 
Jaidev, vi 15 ; of Namdev, 
vi 40 ; of Trilochan, vi 78 ; 
Sadhna, vi 87 ; Beni, vi 88 ; 
Ramanand, vi 105 ; Dhanna, 
vi 109 ; Pipa, vi 119; Sain, vi 
121 ; Kabir, vi 142 ; Rav Das, 
vi 321 ; Mira Bai, vi 355 ; 


Hymns (continued) — 

Shaikh Farid, vi 391 ; Bhikan, 
vi 416 ; Sur Das, vi 419. 

Ibn Batflta, historian, Int. xliii. 
Ibrahim Lodi, King of Dihli, i 56, 
119 n 1. 

Id festival, iv 156 n 1, 245 n6 : 
vi 341 n 4. 

Idols, i 372 ; idol defiled by 
Namdev, vi 22 ; stone, vi 33, 
2 99 n 3 ; Dhanna's idol wor- 
ship, vi 106. 

Idolatry, G. Nanak's deprecation 
of. i 326, 336, 339 ; of ignorant 
Sikhs, iii 6 n 1 ; Gur Das's 
Kabit against, iv 273 ; at 
Gaya, iv 347 n 1 ; G. Gobind 
Singh 011, v 148 ; Namdev on 
vi 42 ; Kabir on, vi 140, 163. 

Illusion, vi 160 n 1, 281 n 1. 

Illustrations to this work, Pref. 

Imams, vi 415. 

Immolation, self, i 274 n 1. 

Immortality, fruit of, i 169 n 3. 

Impurity of birth and death, i 
242, 313 ; of food, i 132 ; iv 
281, 343 ; of songs, i 371 ; G. 
Arjan on, iii 221 n 1; of 
cooking vessels, &c, vi 129 ; 
Ramanuj's practice, vi 98 ; of 
blood, vi 146 n 2 ; Brahman's 
ideas, vi 161 ; Kabir on, vi 258. 

Incantations at places of crema- 
tion, vi 294 n 4. 

Incarnations, G. Gobind Singh 
on, v 94, 274 n 3 ; belief in, vi 3. 

Indar, god, i 168 n 1 ; vi 53 n 3, 
56 n 2, 108 ; Indar's bow, vi 
10, 81 n 1. 

India, Muhammadan conquest 
of, Int. xli. 

Indian months and seasons, i 
r 38 n 3 ; philosophy, six 
schools of, i 8 n i ; Max 
Miiller's Indian Philosophy, i 
8 n 1. 

Infanticide forbidden by Gurus, 

iii 71 n 2. 
Inferno, Dante's, v 241 n 1. 
Infidels, Kabir on, vi 162. 
Initiation, form of, i 47 n 1 ; hat 

used in, iv 188 n 1 ; secret, iv 

260 n 3. 



Ink, Indian, i 8 n 2. 

Inscription on G. Arjan's temple, 

iii 101. 

Institutes of Parasar, i 12 n 1. 
Instruments, five musical, i 99 

n 1 ; vi 146 n 4. 
Instruction, ethical, G. Amar 

Das's, ii 71. 
Intoxicants, vi 320. 
Ira, vi 16 n 2. 
Iraq horses, iv 57. 
Isaiah, Int. liv. 
Ishar (Shiv), i 2 10 n 3. 
Islands of the world, seven, vi 

34i n 3. 

Islam forced on Hindus, iv 370. 
Ismail, sacrifice of, iv 156 n. 
Israr-i-Itrat-i-Fartdi, vi 360 n 1, 

Itihas Guru Khalsa, iv 1 n 1, 44 
n 2, 48 n, 104 n. 

Itinerary of Namdev, vi 33 n 1. 

Itineraries of Gurus unsatis- 
factory, Pref. xxvi. 

Jagannath, i 82 ; vi 9, 30, 97. 
Jaglr, iv 140 n 1. 
Jahangir, Emperor, Int. xliv, 
xlv, xlvi, lvi ; iii 84, 88, 90 ; 

iv 11, 18, 29, 30, 33, 76. 
Jaidev, vi 1 ; his wife, vi 6 ; 

composes Gttgovind, vi 7 ; 
King Satvikra's poem, vi 9 ; 
travels, vi 10 ; his mutilation, 
vi 1 1 ; miraculous restoration 
of hands, vi 13; his wife's 
devotion and the queen's plot, 
vi 14 ; hymns, vi 15. 

Jains, i 151 n 1, 152, 280 n 3, 372- 
n 1 ; v 316 n 1 ; vi 97 n 1. 

Jaipur, Raja of, v 232 ; vi 10. 

Jai Ram, brother-in-law of G. 
Nanak, Int. lxx ; i 18, 29, 32. 

Jai Singh, Raja, iv 299, 318, 322, 

, 3 2 5- 

Jait Pirana, iv 292. 
Jaitsari ki War, iii 370. 
Jalandhar city, ii 66. 
Jalandhar, destroyer of gods, v 
78 n 2. 

\ alandhar Doab, ii 66 ; iii 26. 
Jal-tree, i 19 n 2 ; v 208 ; vi 367. 
Jam, god of death, i 201 n 4. 
Jamila Khatun, a wife of Shaikh 
Farid, vi 382. 


Jamna, i 144 n 1 ; iv 14, 25 ; vi 

198 n 4. 
Janameja, i 169 n 1. 
Janamsakhis, Pref. xv, xxvi ; 

Int. lxxviii, lxxx - lxxxii, 

lxxxiv, lxxxvi, lxxxvii ; i 10, 

242 n 3. 
Jand, iii 59. 
Jandiala, ii 262. 
Jandiana, v 223. 
Janeu, sacrificial thread, i 16, 

238; IV219, 371 ; V98, 191. 
Jangams, i 133 n 2, 151. 
Japji, i 195 n 1 ; v 94 n 1. 
Japji, Int. Iii; v 94 n 1, 261 

n 1. 

Jati Mai, warrior, iv 92, 96, 108, 

185, 203, 204, 212, 230. 
Jatis, i93ni. 
Jatpura, Guru at, v 194. 
Jawdhir-i-Faridi, vi 358 n 1, 360 

n 1, 36S. 
Jawalamukhi, sacred volcano, 11 
1 n 1. 

Jaziya, tax on infidels, ii 108 n 1. 
Jehovah, i 9 n 2. 
Jetha, see Ram Das, Guru. 
Jetha, Bhai, G. Har Gobind's 

captain, iv 4, 12, 24, 30, 32, 

35, 137, 181, 183, 185. 
Jewels, iii 204 n 2. 
Jewellery, worn by men, v 149 

n 1. 
Jhabal, iv 85. 

Jhali, queen of Chitaur, vi 141, 

Jihlam, iii 85 ; iv 76. 
Jin, v 119 n 1. 

Jind, genealogy of Rajas of, iv 

Jit Mai, cousin of G. Gobind 

Singh, v 2, 43, 45, 46. 
Jito, wife of G. Gobind Singh, 

v 2, 55 n 1, 59, 60, 95 n 1, 


Jivatama, soul, Int. lxviii ; vi 
17 n 1. 

Jodh, Rai, iv 153, 172, 181, 189, 

198, 190. 
Jodhpur, Raja of, Int. xlviii ; v 


Jog, i 10 n 1, 53 n 2, 54 n 6, 228 
n 2, 352 n 1 ; iii 55 n 1, 176 
ni; vi 16 n 2, 194 n 7, 232 
n 4 ; accessories of, ii 16. 



Jogis, 1 10 n i, 54 n 7, 60 n 3, 
84 n 1, 99 n 1, 157 n 1, 162, 
225 n 2, 274 n 2, 294, 3 50 n 2 
and 3, 378 n 1 and 2 ; ii 16, 72 
n 1 ; iii 94, 402 n 2 and 10 ; iv 
50, 54, 261 ; vi 199 n 3 ; 243 
n 5, 255, 262 n 1 and 4. 

Joga Singh, v 138. 

Jojan, vi 37 n 1. 

Jones's, Sir William, translation 

of Gitgovind, vi 7 n 1. 
Jot Bikds, v 79. 
Jug, see Ages. 

Jugawali, G. Nanak's poem, i 93. 
Jujhar Singh, v 59, 60, 184, 19s, 

Junagarh, vi 33. 

K's, the five, v 95. 
Kaaba, Makka temple, i 38 n 6, 

Kabir Bhagat, i 61 ; iii 332 ; v 
113, 310 n 1 ; authorities for 
life of, vi 122 n 3 ; his com- 
mandments, 125 ; trouble with 
Brahmans, 130 ; cures Em- 
peror, 132 ; charges against 
him, vi 132; his persecution, 
vi 132, 133; fictitious ban- 
quet by, vi 134 ; meets Brah- 
mans, vi 136 ; death at Maga- 
har, vi 138 ; quarrel about his 
corpse, vi 139; his resurrec- 
tion, vi 140 ; his hymns, vi 
142; acrostic, vi 181; lunar 
days, vi 190 ; week days, vi 
193; against parda, vi 213; 
sloks, 278. 

Kabirpanthis, vi 141. 

Kabit, Gur Das's, Int. lxxiii, Ixxv 
lxxix ; iii 54 n 2. 

Kabul, i 122 ; vi 359. 

Kachh, v 95, 147 n 1. 

Kafni, coat of faqir, vi 401 n 3. 

Kahliir, Raja of, iv 338. 

Kahn Singh, Sardar of Nabha, 
Pref. xxix ; ii 254 n 2 ; iii 6 
n 1. 

Kailas, vi 268 n 2, 341 n 2. 
Kaithal family, ii 272 n 1 ; iv 
343 n 

Kal age, i 147, 235 ; ii 312 ; iv 

Kal bard, ii 56. 

Kala and Karam Chand, iv 272. 
Kalaptaru, tree, growing in 

heaven, iii 204 n 1 . 
Kale Khan, iv 198, 207, 212 ; 

v 20, 30, 33. 
Kalha, v 193, 200. 
Kaliana, Bhai, iii 3, 4, 7. 
Kaljug, i 78 n 1 ; ii_i6. 
Kallar, i 73 n 2. 
Kalpa, vi 61 n 1. 
Kalsahar, bard, ii 56. 

Kalu, father of G. Nanak, Int. 

Ixx, Ixxii ; i 1, 19, 20, 23, 30, 

97, 101, 135. 
Kalyana, iv 107, 1 10. 
Kam, god of love, i 198 n 5. 
Kamakhsha, goddess, iv 354. 
Kamdhenu, iii 148, 204 n 1. 
Kamrup, i 73 n 1 ; iv 348, 351 

n 1, 354. 356. 
Kanaiya, water-carrier, v 173. 
Kanhaiya Misal, v 216 n 1. 
Kans, Raja, i 57, 305 n 4 ; vi 

41 n 1, 56 n 1. 
Kantimati, mother of Ramanuj, 

vi 94. 

Kapalmochan, vi 81 n 1. 
Kaparis, i 280 n 1 ; vi 217. 
Kapila, sage, i 89 n 2 ; ii 262 n 1 ; 

vi 105. 
Kapura, v 208, 225. 
Ka.r, Hindu sacred lines, i 225 n 1 . 
Karah Parshad, i 182 112; recipe 

for, v 114. 
Karir tree, ii 42. 

Karma, or acts, Int. lxvi ; i 6, 
n 2, 208 U.4 ; manmukh, i 137. 

Karm Bhumi, iii 132 n 1. 

Karm Chand, son of Chandu, iv 
106, in, 113. 

Karm Chand of the Marhaj tribe, 
iv 292. 

Karmo, wife of Prithi Chand, iii 

29, 33, 36, 39, 41. 
Karor, one hundred lakhs, ii 192 

n 2. 

Kartarpur, Int. lxxiv; i 132, 136, 

180 ; ii 2, 9 ; iii 26 ; iv 52, 

151, 231, 232. 
Kasar, pudding, vi 203 n 1. 
Kashi, see Banaras. 
Kashmir, i 163, iii 66 ; Aurang- 

zeb's attempts to convert, iv 

369 n 1. 
Kasyapa, i 168 n 2 ; vi 81 n 1. 


Kasur, ii 75. 
Kattu Shah, iv 63. 
Kaul, v 225. 

Kaulan, Qazi's daughter, iv 43 

n 1, 45, 48, 49 n I, 96. 
Kaulsar, iv 48. 
Kaura Mai, i 2. 
Kauravs, i 168 n 6. 
Kauri, vi 55 n 1. 
Ked&rnath, place of pilgrimage, 

ii 262 n 2. 

Kesri Chand, Raja of Jaswan, v 

27, 51, 128, 135. 
Kesgarh, v 97, 171. 
Kesho, Pandit, v 62, 65. 
Khadflr, i 182 ; ii 1, 7, 11. 
KhaJis, v 317 n 1. 
Khalsa, Pref. xi, xiv, xviii, xix ; 

iii 10 ; v 93, 95 n 1, 96 n i, 97, 
99, 128, 147, 155, 156, 157, 223, 
239, 242, 244, 250. 

Khalsa Tract Society, iv 359 n 1. 
Khatris, i 106, 381 ; ii 30 ; v 94, 

Kheda Brahman, ii 133. 
Khem Singh, Sir Baba, Pref. xii. 
Khes, shawl, v 215. 
Khichari, vi 307 n 2. 
Khidrana or Muktsar, v 210, 213, 

Khlr, vi 42 n 2. 
Khivi, wife of G. Angad, ii 1. 
Khizr, i 147 n 1. 

Khuda, i 113 n 2 ; iii 388 n I ; 
v 234. 

Khulasat-ul-Tawarikh, i 1 57 n 2 ; 

iv 64 ; vi 363 n 1 ; 370 n 1, 
384 n 1, 391 n 1. 

Khuram, Prince, iv 36. 
Khusro, son of Jahanglr, Int. 

xliv, xlvi ; iii 84, 85. 
Kiara Sahib, i 15. 
Kikar-tree, i 158 n 5 ; ii 9. 
Kinars, iii 229 n 2. 
Kind Beg, iv 1 1 , 34. 
Kine not eaten by Hindus, i 39 

n 2. 

Kinguri, musical instrument, i 
274 n 2. 

Klratpur, founding of, iv 140, 

232, 276. 
Kiriya, i 65 n 4. 

Kitchen, establishment of Sikh, 

iv 285 ; v 313 n 2. 
Kitchener, Lord, Pref. xxix. 


Knowledge, G. Gobind Singh on, 

v 113. 

Kokil, i 139 n 2 ; vi 48 n 3. 

Kolad, or Koilath, vi 30. 

Kos, vi 37 n 1. 

Kotwal, vi 241 n 2. 

Kripal, Udasi mahant, v 34, 39 
n 1, 193. 

Kripal, Raja, v 12, 51, 58. 

Kripal Chand, iv 352, 358, 366, 
367 ; v 2, 5, 32, 37. 

Krishan, birth of, 1 57 n 1 ; his 
accomplishments, i 166 n 1 ; 
168 n7; visits Bidur, ii 331 
n 1 ; cures hunchback, ii 338 
n 2 ; colour of, i 213 n 2, 215 
n 3 ; ii 93 ; v 330 n 1 ; vi 
53 n 2 ; dances, iii 4, 401 n 2, 
414 n 2 ; iv 255 ; sports, v 22 ; 
incarnation, v 320 n 2 and 3 ; 
Pundarik, vi 23 ; Dwaraka, vi 
30, 32 n 1, 41 n 1 ; nurse, vi 
56 n 1 ; family, vi 81 n 1 ; 
Kabir on, 124 n 1 ; yellow- 
robed, vi 202 n 3 ; patronizes 
Balmik, 339 n 1 ; Parmanand, 

vi 82 ; temple of, at Mailkot, 
vi 97 ; Valmik, vi 104. 

Krishan Avatar, v 310 n 4. 

Krishanlila, play, i 57. 

Krishan Kaur, wife of G. Har 

Rai, iv 325, 329. 
Kshatri, militant caste, i 16 n 1 ; 

vi 104 n 2. 
Kuchajji, i 74. 
Kukah, i 142 n 1. 
Kumbhak, iii 176 n 1. 
Kurkhetar, Int. Ixxiv ; i 47 n 3 ; 

iv 343. 
Kurm, v 27 n 1. 
Kurmavatar, i 151 n 4. 
Kusha, sacred gross, i 142 n 1. 
Kuwar, bard, v 59. 

Labana, rescuer of G. Teg 
Bahadur's body, iv 388. 

Ladha, Bhai, intercedes for Bal- 
wand and Satta, ii 23. 

Lahina, see Angad, Guru. 

Lahore, Int. Ixix, lxxvi, lxxviii, 
lxxxv, lxxxvi; i 129, 145 n 1 ; 
well at, ii 258 ; G. Arjan's 
visit to, iii 27, 90, 101 ; temple 
built by G. Har Gobind, iv 



Lakh, one hundred thousand, i 
S n i. 

Lakhmi Das, G. Nanak's son, i 

29; ii4, 6, 9, 11. 
Lakshman, brother of Ram 

Chandar, vi 81 n 1. 
Lakshman Sen, King of Bengal, 

vi 5. 

Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu, i 151 
n 3 ; goddess of wealth, i 198 
n 5 ; iii 94 n 1 ; vi 95, 100. 

Lala Beg, Shah Jahan's com- 
mander, iv 179, 184, 185. 

Lai Beg, v 152 n 1. 

Lai Chand, father-in-law of G. 
Teg Bahadur, iv 138. 

Lai Chand, confectioner, v 42. 

Lai Chand, son of Bidhi Chand, 

iv 225, 226. 

Lalo, Bhai, carpenter, i 43, 109 ; 
ii 13- 

Lalo, Bhai, banker's son.ii 66, 81. 
Lalu, headman of Khadur, ii 44. 
Lalu, uncle of G. Nanak, i 26. 
Lampblack used as collyrium, vi 
396 n 1. 

Land revenue, system of collect- 
ing, i 18 n 2. 

Langaha, captain in army of 
G. Har Gobind, iv 4, 35, 65. 

Langar khana, G. Arjan's, i 253 
n 2. 

Languages and dialects used in 
Granth, Pref. v, vi, xv, xxv, 
xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii ; forbidden, 
i 12 n 1. 

Lanka, i 168 n 5 ; vi 11. 

Lawan, Sikh marriage ceremo- 
nial, ii 334 n 1. 

Lentils, vi 372. 

Leper of Dukhbhanjani, ii 267 ; 
guise assumed by Vishoba, vi 

Letter, torn, i 115 n 1 ; of God's 
name, vi 38 n 1, 157 n 3 ; vi 
189 n 1 ; thirty-four, vi 330 
n 1. 

Libations, Hindu, to ancestors, 

i 50, 129 n 1. 
Life, four states of, i 309 n 1 ; 

unequal conditions of, i 289 ; 

four sources of, i 4 n 4 ; as 

night, iii 324 n 1 ; transitory, 

v 220. 

Lila Ram Diwan, Pref. xxx. 

Lime, vi 286 n 6. 
Ling, vi 52 n 4. 

Lingam, v 69 n 1 ; vi 21, 69 n 2. 

Literature, sacred, i 12 n 1, 205 
n 2 ; G. Gobind Singh's trans- 
lations of Hindu, v 83. 

Lodi, Pathan dynasty, i 1 19 n 2. 

Lohgarh, iv 57, 82 ; v 129. 

Loi, Kabir's wife, vi 207 n 6, 214. 

Lotus, of wisdom, i 21 n 4, 265 
n 2 ; birth of Brahma, i 300 
n 1 ; petals, iii 361 n 1 ; 439 
n 1 ; v 194 n 5, 232 n 1, 273 
n 3, 332 n 2 ; in heart, vi 243 
n 1. 

Love, primal, i 369 n 1. 

Loyalty, of Sikhs, Pref. xix ; en- 
joined on Sikhs, v 31, 96 n I.; 
iv 265. 

Ludhiana, iv 4 n 1 ; Panjabi 

Dictionary, vi 1 1 1 n 2. 
Lunar month, ii 112 n 1 ; days, 

vi 190. 

Machindar, Goraknath's father, 

i 166 n 3. 
Machonocnie, Mr. A. F., vi 17 


Madan Mohan, vi 417. 
Madhava Nal Sangit, iii 65. 
Madho, sent to Kashmir, iii 67. 
Madhukari, vi 301 n 3. 
Madhusiidan, God, i 7 n 2. 
Madina, i 179. 
Madlras, i 75 n 2. 
Madras, or Dravidian country, i 

Magahar, vi 137, 215 n 2. 
Mahdbhdrat, Sanskrit Epic, i 57 

n 1, 144 n 1, 168 n 6, 169 n 1, 

269 n 2 5 iii 54 n 1 ; vi 86. 
Mahadev, G. Ram Das's son, ii 

93, 277 ; iii 2, 48, 49. 
Mahalla, Int. Ii ; v 62 n 1. 
Mahan Singh at Muktsar, v 214. 
Mahar Mitha, Rai of Kangar, iv 


Maharashtar, vr 24 n 1. 
Mahipati, author of Bhakta LI- 

lamrita, vi 2, 4. 
Mahri Chand, G. Gobind Singh's 

cousin, v 2, 37. 
Mahtab Singh, v 260 n 1. 
Mahurat, i 144 n 4. 
Mai Das, Bairagi, ii 93. 


Maimun Khan, v 163. 
Maipotre, ii 79. 
Majh ki War, i 152 n 2. 
Majnun's hillock, iv 14, 28. 
Makhan Shah, iv 333. 
Makka.i 38 n 6, 174, 17s; vi2S8. 
Malar ki War, i 105 n 1. 
Malay tree, i 82 n 1. 
Malechh, i 204 n 2, 239. 
Maler Kotla, Nawab of, v 197, 

Maliagar Singh, v 208. 

Malik Bhago, i 43. 

Malu Bhai, ii 78. 

Maluk Das, iv 343. 

Malu Shah, soldier advised by 
Guru Angad, ii 18. 

Malwa, iv 4 n 1, 174 n 2 ; battle 
of, iv 181; Sikhs from, v i82n 1. 

Man, ten stages of, i 279 ; com- 
position of, i 273 n 1. 

Man, weight, iv 66 n 1 ; vi 38, 
295 n 2. 

Mana, G. Angad's servant, ii 20. 
Manak Chand, ii 95, 274. 
Manak Chand, G. Nanak's great 

grandson, iv 127. 
Mandara, Olympus, i 151 n 3. 
Mandi, Raja of, iii 4, 7. 
Manes, i 50, 65 n 5 ; iii 70 ; vi 

54 n 2, 1 19 n 1, 163 n 2, 388. 
Mangat, iii 66. 

Mango, i 74 n 2 ; vi 48 n 3, 247 
n 2. 

Mani Singh, Bhai, Int. lxxiv, 
lxxv, lxxvi, lxxix, lxxxiv, 
lxxxvi ; iv 1 n 1 ; v 223 n 1, 
226, 241, 260 n 1. 

Manj, Bhai, iii 7. 

Manjha country, G. Arjan's tour 
through, iii 20 ; iv 4, 102 ; v 

Manjis, ii 151 n 1. 
Manmukh Karm, perverse acts, i 

Manohar Das, G. Amar Das's 
great grandson, iv 222. 

Mansa Devi, wife of Guru Amar 
Das, ii 30, 91. 

Mansarowar, sacred lake in Tib- 
bat, i 357 n 1 ; ii 18, 267 ; vi 
268 n 1. 

Man Singh, v 187, 189, 216, 235. 
Man Singh, Raja of Jaipur, iv 
350 ; vi 2. 

Mansions, lunar, iii 228 n 2. 
Mansur, Husain, Sufi, iv 44 n 1. 
Manu, law-giver, i 89 n 2. 
Manuscripts, destruction of Sikh, 

Int. lxxxiii. 
Mardana, minstrel, Int. lxxxvii ; 

i 33, 44, 52, 58, 59, 65, 78, 94, 

172, 181. 
Marhaj, iv 179. 
Marhi, i 60 n 4. 
Markand, vi 47 n I. 
Markandeya Puran, v 61 n 2, 

289 n 1. 
Marks, sacrificial, vi 99, 125. 
Marriage, i 342 ; iii 71 n 2, 350 ; 

v 24 n 1, no, 232, 266 n 1 ; 

vi 166 n 6, 178 n 2, 209 n 3, 5, 
and 6, 378. 

Maru ki War, ii 229 n, 235 ; iii 
443 n 3- 

Marwahi, or Mahadevi, iv 65, 67. 
Marwar, vi 30. 

Masands, agents or collectors, ii 

271 ; iii 10; iv 3, 364 ; v 23, 

84, 86, 106. 
Masha, i 63 n 6, 158 n 1. 
Masnad-i-Ali, nobles, ii 271. 
Massa Ranghar, defiler of Har 

Mandar, v 260 n 1. 
Matchmakers, Hindu, iii 71 n 1. 
Mathura, bard, ii 285. 
Mathura, Int. xlvii ; iii 72 ; iv 

304 ; v 256 ; vi 30, 140. 
Mati Das, martyr, iv 373, 381, 


Matta di Sarai, ii 1. 
Maula, i 265 n 3. 

Maya, i 4 n 2, 167 n 2 ; iii 139, 
277 n 1 and 2, 299 ; iv 144 ; 
vi 41, 48 n 1, 49, 181 n 1, 197, 
210 n 1, 236 n 1 and 2, 263, 281 
n 1 and 5. 

Mazhabi Regiments, v 99. 

Measures, Indian musical, i 3 n 1. 

Meat forbidden to Vaishnavs, vi 
89 n 2. 

Medani Parkash, Raja of Nahan, 
v 15. 

Merchant, God as wholesale, i 
60 n 1. 

Meru, rosary bead, i 151 n 3, 

235 n 1 ; ii 59. 
Metals, eight, i 273 n 1. 
Metastasio, i 175 n 1. 
Mian, title of respect, i 1 17 n 2. 



Mian Khan, Viceroy of Jammu, 

Mian Mir, vision of, iii 94 ; iv 

40, 43, 301. 
Mian Mitha, priest, i 123, 128. 
Mihan, devotion of, iv, 342. 
Mihrban, son of Prithi Chand, iii 

28, 41, 89 ; iv 36. 
Milk, iii 318 n 1 ; v 300 n 2 ; vi 

146 n 2. 
Milkmaids, vi 10, 219. 
Mill, J. S., Utility of Religion, Int. 


Milton's idea of God similar to 

Sikh, Int. lxviii. 
Mimes at Guru's court, v 86. 
Mina, villain, ii 284 n 2. 
Mines, i 4 n 5. 
Mir, Lord, i 117 n 3. 
Mira Bai, vi 342. 
Miracle plays, i 223 n 2 ; v 297 

n 2. 

Mirage, iii 306 n 1. 

Mirdang, iv 244 n 1 ; v 287 n 1. 

Miriam, mother of Shaikh Farid, 

vi 360. 
Mir Jumla, iv 350. 
Misals, Sikh, v 216 n 1. 
Mispronunciation of Granth, G. 

Gobind Singh on, v 106. 
Missars, i 353 n 1. 
Mithankot, i 123. 
Mohan, son of G. Amar Das, ii 

30, 74, 148. • 
Mohan, Gurumukh's son, iv 130. 
Mohri, son of G. Amar Das, ii 30, 

74, 81, 91, 148, 150 ; iii 1. 
Mokal, Raja of Faridkot, vi 


Mokalhar, vi 381. 
Mokhsh, salvation, iii 121 n 1. 
Molasses, vi 154 n 5. 
Molesworth, Marathi Dictionary, 

vi 23 n 1. 
Money, Indian, i 12 nj, 16 n 2, 

25 n 5, 45 n 1, 223 n4 ; ii 114 

n 1 ; iii 83 n 2 ; iv 19 n I. 
Monier Williams, Brahmanism 

and Hinduism, vi 100 n 1. 
Monis, vi 218 n 3. 
Monkeys, trapping of, vi 172 


Monogamy, G. Nanak on, i 100 

n 2 ; v 1 10. 
Monotheism, Sikh, Pref. xix; 

Int. xxxix, lviii, lx, lxi ; 
Gobind Singh on, v 328 n 1 ; 
vi 1, 27, 102. 
Months and seasons, i 138 n 3, 
371 ni; lunar, ii 112; iii 

Moon, Hindu worship of, iii 420 ; 

supposed sections of, vi 193 n 1. 
Moore, poet, vi 10 n 1. 
Mosaic system, Int. Ivii, Ixvi ; 

i 89 n 2. 

Muazzim, or Bahadur Shah, v 59. 
Muazzin, i 345 n 1. 
Mubarik Khilji, King of Dihli, vi 

Muftis, i 40 n 2. 
Mughals, i 1 10 n 1. 
Muhakam Singh, v 92, 135, 140, 

Muhammad, Prophet, vi 363, 

Muhammad Azim, Int. xlviii. 

Muhammad bin Tughlak, Em- 
peror, Int. xliii ; vi 28. 

Muhammadan conquest of India, 
Int. xli ; of Turkey, Greece, 
and Otranto, Int. xl ; litera- 
ture, i 12 n 1 ; sects, i 192 n 1 ; 
books, i 207 n 2. 

Muhar, coin, iii 83 n 2. 

Muharrim, ceremonies at, vi 384, 

Muhsan Fani, historian, iv 212. 

Mukalawa, vi 166 n 6. 

Mukhlis Khan, general of Shah 

Jahan, iv 81, 92. 
Muktnama, v 116. 
Muktsar, v 210, 213, 214. 
Mula, Karar, i 122. 
Mulla, i 36, 41, 374 n 1. 
Miiller, Max, Pref. xi, xiv ; his 

Indian Philosophy, i 8 n 1. 
Mulowal, Guru's well, iv 339. 
Multan, town, i 180 ; ii 160 n 1 ; 

vi 362, 363, 367. 
Mundawani, ii 221 n 1 ; iii 64. 
Munis, i 210 n 1 ; ii 16. 
Muqaddami, i 84 n 2. 
Murad Baksh, son of Shah Jahan, 

iv 277, 298, 300. 
Musalmans, instructions to, iii 18. 
Music, Pref. xxvi ; i 3, 99 n 1, 

274 n 2 ; v 106, 333. 
Mutasadis, clerks, iv 336 n 1. 
Muzang, Lahore, iv 35. 


Mythology, Hindu, vi 81 n i, 56 
n 2, 87 n 2, 104. 

Nabha, Raja of, Pref. xxvi, xxvii, 
xxx ; iv 4 n 1 ; Raja's temple, 
iv 187 ; descent of Raja, iv 
294 ; Guru's sword, v 46, 3 1 3 
n 2 ; vi 386 n 1. 

Nabhaji, author, vi 2, 95, 344, 348. 

Nach, dance, vi 21 1 n 2. 

Naglna Ghat, v 239. 

Nagnath, temple at, vi 20, 23. 

Nahan, Raja of, v 47. 

Naina Devi, iv 368 ; v 67. 

Namdev, Bhagat, Int. xliii; ii 
332 ; iii 332 ; vi 17 n 4 ; his 
birth, vi 18 ; betrothal, vi 18 ; 
his mother's complaint, vi 19 ; 
his offering to idol refused, vi 
19 ; becomes dakait, vi 20 ; 
•becomes disciple of Vishoba, 
vi 21 ; his repentance, vi 22 ; 
advised in a vision to go to 
Pandharpur, vi 23 ; God re- 
builds his roof, vi 24 ; visited 
by Janabai, vi 25 ; his devo- 
tion tested, vi 25 ; his wife and 
the philosopher's stone, vi 26 ; 
visit from Gyandev, vi 27 ; 
they make preparations for a 
tour through India, vi 27 ; 
visits Dihli, vi 28 ; Namdev 
persecuted by Emperor, vi 28 ; 
miracle of reanimated cow, 
vi 28 n 1 ; visits Banaras, 
Priyag, Gaya, Ajudhia, Ma- 
thura, Gokal, Bindraban, 
Dwaraka, Marwar, and Kolad, 
vi 30 ; the well at Kolad, vi 
30 ; visits Rameshwar, Pai- 
than, Deogiri, Nasik, and 
Junagarh, vi 31-2 ; miracle at 
Audhiya Nagnath, vi 31 ; 
death and burial, vi 34; 
version of Namdev's life in 
Bhagat Mai, vi 36; Namdev 
said to be son of Bamdev's 
daughter by immaculate con- 
ception, vi 36 ; haunted well, 
vi 37 ; the banker's gold, vi 
37 ; alleged visit to Bhattewal 
and Ghuman, where said to 
be cremated vi 39. 

Namdev Gatha, vi 21. 

Name, i 9 n 1 ; of gods, i 138, 
348 n 2 ; iii 56, 279 n 2, 412 
n 1 ; selection of, vi 123. 

Nanak, Guru, contemporaries of, 
Int. xl, Ixxiii ; rulers in time of, 
Int. xliv ; doctrines, Int. 1, Ixi ; 
birthplace, Int. lxx ; Bidhi 
Chand's life of, Int. lxxxi ; 
Natal month, Int. lxxxiv ; 
first nine Gurus' nom-de-guerre, 
Int. li ; birth of, i 1 ; educa- 
tion, i 2 ; his Hindi acrostic, 
i 3 ; Persian acrostic, i 12 ; 
Kiara Sahib, i 15 ; marriage, 
i 18 ; two sons, Sri Chand and 
Lakhmi Das, i 29 ; goes to 
Sultanpur, i 32 ; becomes 
accountant in Sultanpur, i 33 ; 
begins his mission, i 37 ; visit 
to Saiyidpur, i 43 ; miracle at 
Malik Bhago's, i 44 ; cooks 
a deer at Kurkhetar, i 47 ; 
pretends to irrigate his field at 
Kartarpur, i 50 ; journey to 
Bindraban and Gorakhmata, i 
57, 59; discourse with Sidhs, 
i 59 ; with Chatur Das Pandit, 
i 61 ; visit to Gaya, i 64 ; 
parable of the shopkeepers, 
i 68 ; meets with Nurshah, i 
73 ; tempted by Satan, i 78 ; 
returns to Talwandi, i 95 ; 
heals a leper, i 107 ; imprisoned 
by Emperor Babar, i m ; 
release, i 121 ; converts Duni 
Chand, i 129 ; his Twelve 
Months, i 138 ; meeting with 
Bhai Budha, i 133-4; visits 
Ceylon, i 154 ; Mount Sumer, 
where he again meets Sidhs, 
i 170 ; travels to Makka, i 174 ; 
miracle at Makka, i 175 ; 
visits Baghdad, i 179 ; Lahina 
(Angad) becomes his disciple, 
i 183 ; ii 2, 4 ; devotion of 
Sikhs tested, i 183 ; ii 6 ; his 
successor Angad appointed, i 
187 ; ii 9 ; death, i 190 ; state 
of religion before his advent, 
i 191 ; Japji, i 195 ; Rahiras, 
i 250 ; Sohila, i 259 ; Asa ki 
War, i 218 ; defence of women, 
i 244 n 2 ; satire on Hindi 
sects, i 355 ; moral command- 
ments, i 372 ; instructions at 



Namdev (continued) — 

Baisakhi Fair, i 367 ; daily 

practice of, ii 5 ; meeting with 

Budhan Shah, iv 140. 
Nanakamata (Pilibhit), i 59 

n 1 ; iv 50, 52, 54. 
Nanaki, sister of G. Nanak, Int. 

lxx ; i 18. 
Nanaki, wife of G. Har Gobind, 

iii 77 ; iv 50, 67, 68, 70, 223, 

331, 361, 364. 
Nanak Parkash, Int. lxxvi, 

lxxviii, lxxxiv. 
Nand Chand, v 2, 5, 12, 24, 29, 

36, 41, 44, 56, 87, 89. 
Nander, v 220, 236, 238. 
Nand Lai, Bhai, v 79 n 1, 102, 

104 n 2. 

Nankana (Talwandi), Int. Ixxii, 

Ixxxv ; i 2, 18. 
Narad, son of Brahma, i 2 1 5 n 3 ; 

vi 218 n 4. 
Narain Das, iii 76. 
Narayan, ii 339 n 1 ; v 233, 273 

n 2. 

Narbada, river, vi 1 36. 
Narsi Bamani, temple at, vi 18. 
Narsinh, iii 415. 
Naslhat Nama, i 1 28. 
NasIr-ul-Din, Emperor, vi 373 
n 1. 

Nath, superior of Jogis, i 163 n 4. 
Nauhar, v 226, 227. 
Nau Nidhi, i 150 n 2. 
Necklace of sweet basil, i 61 

n 4 ; vi 93 n 2 ; of eleocarpus 

berries, vi 93 n 2. 
Nectar, of the Name, ii 53 n 3, 

121 n 1 ; tank of, ii 267 ; 

baptismal water, v 95 n 1 ; 

five nectars enumerated, vi 

iS6n 5. 

Nicholson, General Sir John, 

Pref. xviii. 
Nigura, vi 126. 
Nihali, ii 12. 
Nihangs, iii 1 10 n 3. 
Nijabat Khan, officer, v 20, 31, 

40, 42, 43. 
Nilgaus, v 305 n 2. 
Nim, vi 247 n 1. 

Nima, Kabir's foster mother, vi 

Nirankar, God, Sikh conception 
of, Int. lxiii. 

Nirgun sargun, iii 117 n 2. 
Nirjala Ikadashi, or Nimani, iv 

Nirmoh, v 138. 

Niru, Kabir's foster father, vi 
123, 341 n4. 

Nirvan, Int. lxiv, Ixv ; exempli- 
fication of, Int. Ixv ; vi 17 n 1. 

Niwali, Jog feat, i 378 n 1. 

Noises in head, i 74 n 5 ; iii 402 
n 2. 

Nom-de-guerre, Guru's, Int. Ii ; 

ii 1 3 n 1 ; of poets, i 9 n 3. 
Nur Jahan, Empress, Int. xliv, 

xlv ; iv 31. 
Nurshah, queen of Kamrup, i 73. 

O, symbol of God, i 64 n 2. 
Oam, vi 16 n 2, 243 n 1. 
Oamkar, Ramkali, i 63. 
Oath, v 202. 

Obsequies, ii 150, 153 n 1 ; Sikh, 
iv 2. 

Observances, Sikh, religious and 
secular, iv 252. 

Ocean, world compared to, i 6 
n 1 ; of fire, i 63 n 3 ; terrible, 
ii 186 ; vi 143 n 4 ; God's ship, 
vi 172 n 2 ; vi 285 n 5. 

Offerings, burnt, i 28 n 3 ; thir- 
teen Hindu, to manes of 
ancestors, iv 250 n 4. 

Oil Press, Indian, i 1 25 n 2. 

Omens, futility of, iv 249 ; vi 
176 n 2. 

Omnipresence of God, i 265. 

Ontology, Int. lxviii. 

Ordinances of KMlsa, v 95, 97. 

Organs of action and perception, 
i IS9 n 3 ; 320 n ; iii 401 n 3, 
4, and 5 ; vi 149 n 1, 169 n 2. 

Oriental Congress at Rome, pro- 
ceedings of Pref. xxvii, xxviii. 

Ornaments worn by men, v 149 
n 1. 

Ouranos, Int. Iviii. 

Ovid, vi 10 n 1. 

Oxen, vi 165, 166, 215. 

Padamavati, wife of Jaidev, vi 

6, 13, 14. 
Pahar, vi 28 n 1, 400 n 1. 
Pahoa, place of pilgrimage, ii 109. 
Pahul, baptism, Int. lxxvii ; iii 

71 n 2 ; v 93, 263. 


Pai, i 188 n i. 

Painda Khan, iv 52, 57, 66, 88, 

98, 128, 142, 192, 193, 194, 

195, 202, 203, 208, 209. 
Painda Khan, Muhammadan 

General, v 124. 
Pains, classified, vi 73 n 1. 
Paira, Bhai, iii 3, 53. 
Paisa, ii 12 ; iii 67 ; iv 329, 385. 
Pak Pattan, i 84, 10 1 ; vi 366 ; 

reason for name, vi 367. 
Palki, ii 61 ; iv 228 n 1. 
Palma christi plant, vi 32s n 3. 
Palmyra palm, vi 320 n 3 ; 

leaves, vi 320 n 4. 
Panch, i 202 n 3. 
Panch Amrit, vi 85 n. 
Pancharatra of Narad, i 326 n 1. 
Panch Mukti, v 97. 
Panch Piyare, v 96. 
Panch Sabd, i 99 n 1. 
Pandharpur, vi 23, 27, 33. 
Pandits, i 4 n 1 ; ii 1 34 ; iii 50 ; 

vi 189 n 2, 314 n 3. 
Panipat, i 52 n 3. 
Panjab, land of five rivers, Pref. 

xxv ; capital of, Int. lxix ; 

official language, Pref. xxiv, 


Panjabi, importance of language, 

Pref. xxiv. 
Panjab Kaur, wife of Ram Rai, 

v 22, 89. 
Panja Sahib, i 172. 
Panjokhara, iv 320. 
Pantheism, Int. lxii ; claims of 

Vedantists, 103 n 2 ; vi 27, 99. 
Panth Par hash, v 1 n 1. 
Papias on Christian religion, Int. 

lxxxvii n. 
Paper, vi 320 n 4. 
Param hans, explanation of, ii 18. 
Param Singh, v 226. 
Parasar, Institutes of, i 1 2 n 1 . 
Paras Ram, i 168 n 2. 
Parbati, consort of Shiv, i 166 

n 6 ; iii 213 n 1 ; iv 132 n 1 ; 

vi 58 n 2, 334 n 2. 
Parbs, iv 254. 

Parda, Pipa attempts to abolish, 
vi 116. 

Pargiter, translator of Markan- 

deya Puran, v 61 n 2. 
Pariah, iii 414 n 1. 
Parmanand, vi 82, 84 n 1. 


Parmatama, Supreme Being, Int. 

Paro, Bhai, ii 18, 66, 77, 79, 81. 
Parrot and simmal-tree, vi 66 n 2. 
Partridge and hawk, parable, v 

Pasari, vi 75 n 1. 
Passions, five evil, i 13 n 1, 54 
n 4, 70 n 2, 286 n 1 ; ii 243 ; 

iii 109 n4, 309 n 1, 328 n 1 ; 
vi 89 n 2, 149 n 1, 154 n 2, 185 
n 2, 206 n 1, 227 n 1. 

Patal, Hindu hell, v 284 n 1. 
Patalpuri, iv 236. 
Pantanjali, Aphorisms of, i ion 1. 
Patasha, sweetmeat, v 95. 
Pathan soldiers of G. Gobind 

Singh, v 20, 30, 40. 
Patiala, Singh Sabha of, Pref. 

xxi ; iv 4 n 1, 295. 
Patna, birthplace of G. Gobind 

Singh, Pref. xii ; iv 348, 357 ; 

Patti, see Tablets. 
Paul, St., Int. lxiv, lxviii n., 

Ixxx n. 
P&unta, battle of, v 34, 35. 
Pauri, i 105 n 2, 218 n 1. 
Pavilion, bridal, vi 209 n 5. 
Payments of land revenue in 

kind, vi 251 n 1. 
Peacock, home of, vi 330 n 2. 
Penances, Hindu, i 136, 358 n 1 ; 

v 272. 

Pens scattered in Malwa district, 
v 223. 

Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, 

v 236. 

Persian wheel, ii 10 n 1, 252 n 1 ; 

language, i 11, 12 n 1. 
Pheru, Bhai, iv 276 ; v 86. 
Pheru, G. Angad's father, ii 1. 
Philanthropy, Gur Das on, iv 256. 
Philosopher's stone, ii 301, 345 ; 

vi 26, 317. 

Philosophy, systems of Hindu, 

Int. fix, lx ; i 8 n 1 . 
Phul, ancestor of the Phulkian 

Chiefs, iv 294. 
Pig as scavenger, vi 300 n 3. 
Pilgrimages reprobated by 

Gurus, Pref. xx, xxi, xxiii ; 

Hindu places of, i 144 n 1 ; ii 

79 n 1 ; futility of, iv 257 ; 

iv 398 n 1 ; of Namdev, vi 27. 



Pilgrims, census of Sikh at Har- 
dwar, Pref. xxi n. 

Pilibhit, i 59. 

Pind, or pinda, i 65 n 2. 

Pipa, Bhagat, vi 57 n 2, 105, vi 1 1 1 ; 
visit to Ramanand, vi 112; be- 
comes f aqir, vi 113; pilgrim- 
age to Dwaraka, vi 113; his 
faithful wife Sita, v 1 1 3 ; visit 
to Toda, vi 1 1 s ; Sur Sen visits 
him, vi 116; against parda, 
vi 116; secures pardon for a 
cow-killer, vi 1 1 8 ; his hymn, 
vi 119. 

Pipal-tree, Guru Nanak's, i 59 

n 2 ; G. Gobind Singh's, v 209. 
Pir, i 169 n 2 ; ii 350 n 1 ; vi 

306 n 3. 
Pitras, manes, vi 54 n 2. 
Planets, seven ancient, iii 305 

n 2 ; vi 269 n 1 . 
Plants used in worship, i 61 n 4, 

155 n 1, 307 n 2. 
Pockets, Hindu substitutes for, 

iii 279 n 3 ; vi 281 n 6. 
Poetry, nine themes of Oriental, 

v 161 n 1. 
Pollution, Hindu, i 93 ; of articles 

of worship, vi 327 n 4. 
Polyandry, vi 104 n 1. 
Polygamy of Gurus, reason for, 

iii 77 n 1. 
Pompeii, Lingam in, v 69 n 1 . 
Postin, iv 219. 
Posture, dance, i 305 n 1. 
Pothohar, Int. Ixxxvi. 
Poushkin, vi 10 n 1. 
Poverty, Kabir on, vi 260 n 4. 
Prahlad, saint, ii 114, 160; vi 

67 n 1, 128 n 6, 271 n 2. 
Prakrit, iii 63, 434 n 1. 
Pransangali of G. Nanak, i 1 56 ; 

iii S3, ss n 1. 
Prayers, five Musalman, i 39 n 5 ; 

of unborn child, vi 302 n 2. 
Prema, lame Sikh, ii 1 36. 
Prithi Chand, son of G. Ram 

Das, ii 92, 279, 281 ; iii 1,2, 17, 

20, 28, 36, 39, 41, 46,48,81, 85. 
Prithi Chand, Raja of Dadhwal, 

v Si- 

Prithwi Raj, Int. xli ; vi 359 n 3. 
Priyag, see Allahabad. 
Prohibitions of Khalsa, v 98. 
Promises, sanctity of, v 204. 

Prophecies, Moslem, iv 196 n ; 

of Gurus, iv 381 ; v 107. 
Psyche, i 6 n 3. 
Puna, v 236. 

Punnu and Sassi, story of, v 221. 
Piirak, Jog exercise, iii 176 n 1. 
Purans, Pref. v ; i 28 n 4, 207 n 2 ; 

iii 402 ; vi 36, 324 n 1. 
Puri, G. Nanak's visit to, i 81. 
Purity of Sikh religion, Pref. xii, 

Pushkar, v 227. 

Qalandar, a Muhammadan an- 
choret, i 58 n 3. 

Qazi's claim against G. Har 
Gobind, iv 42 ; complaint to 
Emperor, iv 46. 

Qualities, three, i 89 n 2 ; ii 47, 
198 n 1 ; iii 172 n 2; thirty- 
two, iii 278 n 2 ; vi 17 n 2, 101 
n 6 ; five forming the garden 
of the world, vi 50 n 1. 

Queen, insane, and G. Amar Das, 
ii 62. 

Quoit, v 261 n 3. 

Quran, Int. liii, Ixxviii n. ; i 39 

n s, 125 n 1, 178 n 1, 206 n 2 ; 

selecting name in, vi 123. 
Qutb-ul-Din Aibak, Emperor, 

Int. xlii. 
Qutub-ul-Din Bakhtiyar Ushi, vi 

359 n 1, 36s, 366 n 1, 373. 

Rabab, or Rebeck, i 33 n 1. 
Radha, or Radhika, v 22 ; vi 8, 

10, 347 n 1. 
Rafazis, v 277 n 2. 
Raghuraj Sinh, Maharaja and 

poet, vi 2, 4, 95 n 1, 121 n 1, 


Rag Mala, 111 65. 

Rags, musical measures, Pref. 

xxvi ; i 3 n 1 ; v 335. 
Rahlm, i 176 ; iv 370. 
Rahiras, i 250 n 1. 
Rahu, demon, i 283 n 1 ; iii 305 

n 2. 

Rai Jodh, iv 180, 186. 
Raipur, Rani of, v 48. 
Raja Ram of Assam, iv 357 ; v 4. 
Rajindar Singh, Maharaja of 

Patiala, Pref. xxvii. 
Raj jog, i 228 n 2. 
Rakab Ganj, iv 389. 


Ram, iv 370 ; letters of name, vi 
38 n 1, 157 n 3, 307 n 5. 

Rama, G. Amar Das's son-in- 
law, ii 142. Bhagat, vi 93. 

Ram Avatar, translation of, v 67, 
310 n 3. 

Ramanirj, vi 93. 

Ramanujis, marks of, vi 99., epic poem, i 269 n 2. 

Ram Chandar, King of Ajudhia, 
Int. lxxxii ; i 40 n 4, 113 n 1, 
168 n 3, 216 n 3, 305 n 2, 382 ; 
ii 30, 31 n 1 ; iii 50 ; iv 158 ; 
v 275 n I, 320 n 3 ; vi 24 n 2, 
3°. 3 1 . 35. 40 112, 52 n6 , 56 
n 2, 61 n 5, 81 n 1, 100, 263, 
308 n 1. 

Ram Das (Jetha), Guru, birth, 
ii 88 ; visit to G. Amar Das, ii 
89 ; becomes his Sikh, ii 89, 
married to Bibi Bhani, ii 91 ; 
his sons Prithi Chand, Maha- 
dev, and Arjan born, ii 92, 
93 ; receives necklace from G. 
Amar Das, ii 101 ; deputed to 
Akbar, ii 106 ; expounds faith 
of Sikhs, ii 107 ; sent to build 
Santokhsar, ii 141 ; tested by 
G. Amar Das, ii 143 ; in- 
stalled as Guru, ii 146 ; visit 
of Sri Chand, ii 257 ; tank 
Commenced at Amritsar, ii 
258; visits Lahore, ii 258; 
Arjan sent to Lahore, ii 277 ; 
deception of Prithi Chand, ii 
279 ; Arjan sent for and ap- 
pointed the Guru's successor, 
ii 281 ; Guru Ram Das's death 
at Goindwa.1, ii 284 ; hymns, 
ii 286. 

Ra.mda.spur (Amritsar), ii 276 n 1. 
Ramkali, iii 84 n 1. 
Ramo, sister of Damodari, iv 51, 
55. i5i- 

Ram Rai, son of G. Har Rai, Int. 

Iii ; iv 307, 309, 310, 311, 312, 

315. 3i6, 338 ; v 17, 18, 20, 22. 
Ramsar, G. Arjan founds, iii 60. 
Ram Singh, Raja of Jaipur, iv 

348 n 1, 355, 360 ; v 58. 
Ramzan, iii 422 n 1 ; vi 21 1 n 3, 

361, 389- 
Ranbir Singh, Raja of Jind, Pref. 


Ranjit, G. Gobind Singh's drum 

Ranjit Singh, Maharaja, Int. 
Ixxxiii, lxxxiv ; iii 25 n 1 ; v 

245 n 1, 2 46 ; vi 39. 

Ranjit Singh, Sardar of Chi- 

charauli, Pref. xxvii. 
Rankhambh Kala, princess, v 69. 
Ras Mandal, dance, v 22. 
Ratan Chand, iv 105, in, 113. 
Ratti, i 58 n 1 ; seed or weight, v 

246 n 2. 

Rav Das, Bhagat, ii 332 ; iii 332 ; 
vi 105, 141, 316, 318, 321. 

Ravi, river, i 101, 129, 191. 

Rawan, King of Ceylon, i 305 
n 2 ; v 290 n 3 ; vi 3, 24 n 2, 
40 n 2, 207 n 3 and 4. 

Real Thing, vi 79 n 2, 402 n 2. 

Reay, Lord, Pref. xxix. 

Rechak, iii 176 n 1. 

Red powder, i 65 n 7, 297 n 1 ; 
robe, ii 226 n 1 ; jacket, iii 
291 n 1 ; colour, iii 319 n 1, 
369 n 1 ; lead, vi 178 n 2. 

Regions of earth, nine, i 30 n 1. 

Relics at Nabha, v 224 n 1 ; 
Shaikh Farid's, vi 363. 

Religions, books of other, Pref. 
v ; causes for new, Int. Iv ; 
with and without State sup- 
port, lv; religious systems, ii 
190 ; vi 310. 

Religion of the Hindus, vi 104 n 3, 
140 n 1. 

Religious observances, Sikh, i 83 

n 5, 136, 181 ; iv 252. 
Renan, Int. liv. 

Repetition of Name, i 9 n 2, 49, 
147 ; vi 40 n 2, 60, 1 17, 124. 

Reward of good actions, vi 164 
n 1. 

Rice, Mr. L., vi 93 n 3. 
Ridh Sidh, v 333 n 1. 
Rikhis, i 207 n 2, 211 n 1 j ii 

Ripudaman Singh, The Honor- 
able Tikka Sahib of Nabha, 
Pref. xxvi. 

Roe, Sir Thomas, English Am- 
bassador, Int. xlv. 

Rome, Oriental Congress at, Pref. 
xxvii, xxviii. 

Rosaries, i 51, 61 ; iv 28 ; v 310 
n 1 ; vi 93 n 2, 389. 



Rossetti on transmigration, Int. 

Ruhela, iv 101. 

Rup Chand, Bhai, iv 149, 150 

n 1, 152, 172. 
Rupee, i 63 n 6 ; v 233. 

Sachansach, Bhai, ii 62. 

Sach Khand, Int. lxiv, lxv, lxxxi ; 

iv 3, 125, 131, 223, 225. 
Sacrifices, i 28 n 3 ; vi 89 n 1, 

211 n 3, 247, 315 n2. 
Sacrificial marks, materials for, 

Int. lviii, lix ; i 58, 135, 163 ; 

ii 11, 43 5 vi 99, 125, 178 n 2, 

286 n 6. 

Sadd, hymn, ii 151 ; author of, 

iv 143. 
Sadhaura, v 239, 247. 
Sadhik, i 41 n 4 ; vi 258. 
Sadhna, Bhagat, iv 265 ; vi 32, 

84, 85, 87 n 2. 
Sadhu, holy man, iii 55 ; iv 5. 
Sadhu, son of Sada, iv 147, 148, 

149, 152, 172. 
Sadhu, married to Bibi VIro, iv 

68, 94, 144. 
Safflower, i 86 n 1, 176; iii 173 

n 1. 

Sagara, King of Ajudhia, ii 262 
n 1. 

Sahaj jog, i 228 n 2. 

Sahari Mai, cousin of G. Amar 

Das, ii 276. 
Sahaskriti sloks, iii 29 n 2, 63, 

430 n 1. 

Sahib, meaning of, Pref . vi n 1 . 

Sahib Chand, v 40, 135. 

Sahib Kaur, wife of G. Gobind 

Singh, v 143, 144, 219, 231, 

240, 254. 
Sahij, i 77 n 5. 
Sahijdhari, Int. Iii. 
Saido, Bhai, i 147, 1 53, 1 56 ; ii 13. 
Saif-ul-DIn, friend of G. Teg 

Bahadur, iv 373. 
Sain, Bhagat, ii 18 ; vi 1, 105 ; 

life of, 120. 
Sain Das, husband of Ramo, iv 

51, 55, 146, 151. 
Saints, iii 292 n 1 ; iv 400 n 1. 
Saiyad Beg, general, v 153, 154, 


Saiyid Khan, v 162, 163. 

Saiyidpur, Int. xliv ; i 43, 109, 

in, 114, 118, 119. 
Sajjan, Shaikh, i 45, 46 n 1, 47. 
Sakat, iii 213 n 1. 
Sakhis, v 299 n 1. 
Sakhi Sarwar, Pir, iii 7, 419 ; iv 

147 n 1, 339. 
Sal tree, v 131 n 1 . 
Salagram, sacred stone, i 61 n 3 ; 

iii 4, 50, 51, 52 n 1 and 2 ; v 
75, 78 n 2 ; vi 84. 

Sa.lava.hana, vi 23, 96. 

Salim Shah, vi 29 n 3. 

Salo, Bhai, iii 3, 20, 53 ; iv 12. 

Salvation, means of, ii 134; v 
116, 123 ; by repetition of 
Name, vi 40 n 2 ; four degrees 
of, vi 250 n 1 ; time for, vi 
311 n 2. 

Samana, sacked by Banda, v 247. 
Saman Burj, tower, iv 159. 
Samarmati, Queen, v 68. 
Sambat era, Int. lxxix, lxxxiv ; i 

110 n 1. 

Sampats, six, vi 272 n 6. 
Sanat, i 25 n 5. 
Sanath, vi 67 n 3. 
Sanctuary, Hindu, ii 344 n 2. 
Sanda, vi 67 n 1, 128 n 7. 
Sandal, vi 76 n 1 ; wood, vi 305 

n 2 ; tree, vi 327 n 4 ; used in 

worship, vi 233 n 1. 
Sandali, son of Rup Chand, iv 


Sandhia, v 9 n 2. 

Sandila, vi 417. 

Sanga, Rana, vi 352. 

Sangat Sahib at Nander, v 240. 

Sangatia envoy, v 57. 

Sango Shah, cousin of G. Gobind 

Singh, v 2, 3, 36, 43. 
Sangrana, memorial of victory, 

iv 93. 

Sanskrit, Int. 1 ; burning of 
Sanskrit library at Bihar, Int. 
xlii ; literature, ii no n 1, 
134 ; letters, iii 168 n 1 ; 
tongue, iv 135. 

Sant Das, son of Jiwan, iv 298. 

Santokhsar, founding of, ii 141 ; 

111 2. 

Santokh Singh, Bhai, poet (au- 
thor of Suraj Parkash), Int. 
Ixxvi, lxxvii, lxxviii ; ii 24 n 1 ; 
iv 180 ; v 1 n 1, 200, 244 n 1. 


Sant Singh of Kapurthala, Bhai, 

Pref. x ; Int. Ixxvi. 
Sanyasi, i 41 n 1, 58 n 3, 106, 141 

n 1 ; riot at Govindwal, ii 69 ; 

iv 261, 288 ; vi 104 n 2, 282 

n 1. 

Sarang, pied India cuckoo, i 83 
n 6. 

Saraswati, river, i 144 n 1 ; ii 109. 
Saraswati, goddess, i 198 n 6. 
Saravagis' Temple, i 1 50 ; v 

264 n 1. 
Sarbloh, v 313 n 1. 
Sardul Singh, Gyani, Prcf. ix, 

xxx ; ii 24 n 1. 
Sarhind, v 139, 168, 193, 200, 201, 

232, 247. 
Sarmad, iv 303. 
Sas giras, i ioi n 1. 
Sat, Golden Age, i 4 n 6 ; iv 99 ; 

vi 15 n 1. 
Satbharai, ii 7. 

Sati, i 165 n 3 ; iii 91 ; v 277 
ni; vi 14 ; Kabir on, vi 153, 
178 n 2. 

Sat Kartar, i 49. 

Satluj, river, i 85 n 5 ; ii 66, 109 ; 

iv 368 ; v 3, 176 ; vi 407 n 1. 
Satnaja, vi 1 1 1 n 2. 

Sat Nam, true name, i 138. 

Satnamis, Int. xlvii, xlviii. 

Satogun, ii 198 n 1. 

Sat Sangat, i 278. 

Sat Sri Aka.1, war cry, v 28. 

Satta, musician, ii 16, 21, 23, 24 

n 1, 253 ; iii 61. 
Saw at Banaras, i 274 n 1. 
Sawaiyas of G. Gobind Singh, Int. 

Iii ; of the bard Mathura, iii 

72 n 2 ; read at baptism, V265. 
Sawan, Hindi month, ii 55 n 3 ; 

iii 109 n 1. 
Sawan Mai, nephew of G. Amar 

Das, ii 60, 61, 62. 
Sciences, fourteen Hindi, i 63 ; 

v 269 n 1. 

Seasons, Indian, i 138 n 1 ; G. 

Arjan's, iii 407. 
Second sight of Bhai Budha, ii 


Sectaries, vi 167. 

Sects, four Muhammadan, i 192 

n 1 ; Hindu, vi 95, 101. 
Seli, faqir's necklace, iv 2. 
Senses, five, vi 164 n 4. 


Sepulture, Indian, i 60 n 4, 68 
n 1, 115 n 1, 181, 182 n 2, 279 
n 2, 348, 349 n 2 ; iii 202 n 2, 
285 n 1 ; Sikh, v 98, 118. 

Ser, weight, iii 282 n 1 ; vi 38, 
169 n 5. 

Serpent, i 305 n 3 ; tortured by 
worms, iv 188, 282 ; v 205 n 1 ; 
vi 246 n 4, 290 n 1 ; 294 n 5, 
305 n 2, 327 n 4. 

Services, Sikh, i 136, 181 ; menial, 
vi 12 n 1. 

Sewapanthis, v 174. 

Shahab-ul-Din Ghori, Int. xli. 

Shah Jahan, Emperor, iv 36, 49 
n 1, 76, 138, 156, 175 ; war 
with G. Har Gobind, 183 ; 
solicited by Painda Khan, 195, 
198 ; Shah Jahan's sons, 277 ; 
letter to G. Har Rai, 278 ; his 
sons' rebellion, 299 ; vi 3. 

Shahzada, son of Mardana, i 182. 

Shaikhs, i 40 n 1, 72 n 3. 

Shakar Ganj, vi 358, 361, 383. 

Shaktis, iii 213 n 1. 

Shams-ul-DIn, Emperor, i 52 n 3 ; 
vi 366 n 1, 373. 

Shankar Acharya, v 118 n 2 ; vi 

Shankar Dial, Sardar, Pref. xxx. 
Sharaf, Shaikh, i 52 n 3. 
Shariat, i 1 3 n 2. 
Shastars, Pref. v ; i 8 n 1 ; iii 

260 n 1,330,402; vi 74 n 1,320. 
Shastar Nam Mala, Int. hi ; v 83. 
Sheldrake, ruddy, i 271 n 1. 
Shells to summon worshippers, vi 

298 n 1. 
Sher Afghan Khan, iv 369. 
Sher Shah, conqueror of Bengal, 

ii 19. 

Sher Singh, Maharaja, iv 1 n 1. 
Sheshnag, hydra-headed serpent, 

ii 348 n 1 ; iii 200 n 1 ; v 270 

n 2 ; vi 74 n 2, 94. 
Shiah Muhammadans, v 152 n 1. 
Shikar Ghat, v 239. 
Shisham tree, ii 265 ; iii 2 n 2. 
Shiv, god, Int. xli, Ivii, lix ; i 40 

n3» 138, ISS n J » 166 n6 ' I0 9 
n 1 ; ii 109, 262 n 2 ; iii 6 n 1, 
203 n 1, 432 n 2 ; v 69 n 1, 
262 n 3, 284 n 3 ; vi 18, 20, 57 
n 2, 58 n 2, 93 n 2, 94, 138 n 3, 
258 n j, 341 n 2. 



Shivnabh, King of Ceylon, i 146, 

Shivrat, i 155 n 1. 
Shopkeepers, parable of the, i 68. 
Shradh, i 129 n 1, 241 ; vi 163. 
Shukdev Rikhi, ii 31 n 1. 
Sialkot, i 122. 
Sidh Gosht, i 171. 
Sidhis, eight, v 269 n 2, 318 n 1. 
Sidhs, i 41 n 4, 59, 171. 
Sikandar Khan Lodi, Emperor, 

Int. xliv ; VI13; vi 131. 
Sikhism, development, Int. lxiv ; 

in danger, Int. lvi, Ivii ; ritual 

of, iii 55 ; principles of, v 91, 

95. n6. 

Sikh religion, general ignorance 
of, Pref. v, vii, xx ; its advan- 
tages to the State, vii, xviii, 
xxiv ; merits of military guar- 
dians of, xix, xxv ; catholicity 
of, xi, xxvi ; authenticity of, 
lii-liii ; originality, liv ; two 
divisions of, hi ; not ascetic, 
lxiv ; rules of, i 136, 217 n 3 ; ii 
137; superiority of, iv 271, 283. 

Sikhs' ignorance of their re- 
ligion, Pref. xx ; reversion to 
Hinduism, xxiii ; Int. Ivi, 
lvii ; rules and observances, 
iii 67 ; Sikhs and Hindus, iii 
422 n 3 ; vi 40. 

Sikh war-cry, v 97, 100. 

Sikh writings, difficulty of, Pref. 
vi, viii, xxxiii. 

Simmal tree, i 46 n 3 and 4 ; vi 
66 n 2. 

Simritis, i 117 n 4 ; v 300 n I ; 

vi 101, 156. 
Sindur, vi 178 n 2. 
Singhs, Int. hi ; v 95. 
Singh Sabha, letter to the author, 

Pref. xiii. 
Singing, Shaikh Farid on, vi 380. 
Sins, deadly, i 13 n 1, 286 n 1 ; 

iii 432 ; see Passions. 
Sirat-ul-mustakim, vi 334 n 4. 
Sirmaur, Raja of , v 185. 

Sita, wife of Ram Chandar, i 40 
n 4, 168, 216 n 3, 305 n 2, 382 ; 

iv 158. 

Sitala Devi, goddess of small-pox, 

iii 43 ; vi 57 n 2. 
Siyar-ul-Mutaakharin, iv 392 n 1; 

v 253. 


Skull, Farid's slok written on 

seeing, vi 396 n 1. 
Slok, i 105 n 2 ; ii 46 ; iii 183. 
Small-pox, iii 43 ; iv 327. 
Snakes, iv 188, 282 ; v 205 n 1 ; 

vi 294 n 5. 
Sodar, i 136, 250 n 2. 
Sodhis, iii 65 ; iv 332, 337, 338. 
Sohan, vi 268. 

Sokrates, Int. liii, liv, lxvii, Ixix. 

Solaha, i 164 n 2. 

Sondha Khan, Emperor's stable- 
keeper, iv 159, 170. 

So Purukh, i 254. 

Soul, Int. lxv-lxix ; i 198 n 1, 
272 n 1, 284 n 1, 312 n 1 ; ii 
175 n 1 ; iii 285 n 2 ; iv 123, 
151 ; vi 17 n 1, 45 n 3, 158, 
159 n 1, 169 n4, 186 n 3, 196 
n 3, 235, 404 n 1. 

Sound, unbeaten, i 274 n 2 ; iii 
266, 402 ; vi 90 n 5. 

Species, animal, vi 42 n 1. 

Spell of salvation, gayatri, i 166 
n 4, 237 n 1 ; ii 108 ; vi 58 n 1 ; 
Vishnu's farewell, vi 138 n 3, 

Spelling, Indian, Pref. xxxi. 
Sri Chand, G. Nanak's son, Int. 

Iii, Ixxx ; i 29 ; ii 4, 6, 9, 1 1, 

257 ; iii 27 ; iv 128, 130, 288. 
Sri Har Gobindpur, iv 104 n 1, 

105, 118. 
Srinagar in Garhwal, v 8, 16. 
Srlnagar in Kashmir, i 163 ; iv 

61, 63. 
Srirang, vi 65 n 1. 
Sri sect, vi 101, 102. 
Stages of life, four of twice-born 

Hindus, vi 104 n 2. 
Standing on the head, penance of, 

205 n 1. 

Stars, Muhammadan conception 

of, vii55n4. 
Statius, Int. lviii. 
Steel ornaments, v 149 n 1. 
Stones, bridge of, vi 40 n 2, 45 

n 1 ; gods, iii 5 ; vi 33, 149 n 4. 
Strife (Greek Eris) iv 76. 
Strivers, i 41 n 4. 
Sudars, i 16 n 1, 371 n 3 ; ii 184 

n 1. 

Sufis of Persia, i 261 n 1 ; dress 

of, vi 401 n 3. 
Sufiism, stages of, i 1 3 n 2. 



Suhag, marriage state, iii 145 

Suhagan, 176x16; vi 236 n 2. 
Suhela, or Gul Bagh, iv 178. 
Sukhmana, vi 16 n 2. 
Sukhmani of G. Arjan, iii 197 n 1. 
Sulabi Khan, iii 88, 89. 
Sulahi Khan, iii 17, 33, 48, 85, 86. 
Sulakhani, G. Nanak's wife, i 19 

n 1, 32 ; ii 4. 
Sulisar, iv 341. 
Sultanpur, i 18, 108. 
Sumer Singh, Mahant, Pref. xii. 
Sun, vi 192 n 4. ' 
Sundar Das, author of the Sadd, 

ii 151. 

Sundari, Mata, wife of G. Gobind 
Singh, v 3, 4 n 1, 51, 219, 230, 
240, 250, 254, 256, 257. 

Sundar Shah, faqlr, iv 216, 217, 
225, 226. 

Superstition, iii 53 ; iv 249. 

Suph, vi 401 n 3. 

Surajbans, vi 81 n 1. 

Sura] Mai, son of G. Har Gobind, 
birth of, iv 67 ; his marriage, 
iv 138; request to his father, 

iv 236 ; visit of G. Teg Baha- 
dur, iv 363. 

Suraj Parkash, Pref. xiii, xv ; 
Int. lxxvii ; iii 2 n 1, 60 n 3, 
67, 69 n 1 ; iv 180, 303 n 1 ; 

v 199 n 1. 

Siir Das, Bhagat, vi 417, 418 ; 

hymns, 419. 
Surjan Singh of Anandpur, v 257. 
Surma, collyrium, i 76 n 5 ; ii 

119 n 3 ; vi 396 n 1. 
Suspended animation, i 287 n 1. 
Swan, great, i 357 n 1 ; ii 18, 217 

n 1 ; bill, iv 245 n 3 ; vi 320, 

413 m. 
Swayamvars, v 266 n 1. 
Sweet basil, i 61 n 4, 155 n 1 ; iii 

6ni,73n 1; vi38,93n2, 177. 
Swine's flesh, i 39 n 2. 

Tablets for teaching alphabet, i 3. 

Tacitus on ancient German re- 
ligion, Int. lx n. 

Taimiir Lang, Int. xl, lxx. 

Taka, coin, i 223 n 4. 

Takhallus, i 9 n 3 ; v 314 n 1. 

Talwandi, G. Nanak's birthplace 
i 1, 2 n 1, 95 ; iv 66. 


Talwandi Sabo, or Damdama, iv 

340 ; v 219. 
Tana Shah, King of Golkanda, 

v Si- 
Tank, measure, i 158 n 1. 
Tanks, Hindu, ii 84 n 1 ; Sikh, 

i 2, 320 n 1 ; ii 87 ; iii 9, 10, 

11, 13 ; iv48. 
Tansen, Akbar's minstrel, vi 350. 
Tantras, ancient scriptures of the 

Saktas, iii 213 n 1 ; vi 93 n 1, 


Tapa, a penitent, ii 29, 35, 38, 

99, 261, 303. 
Tara, Masand, iv 308 ; v 17, 89, 


Tara Azim, usurper, v 229, 230. 
Tara Singh, Pandit, iv 64 n 3. 
Tariqat, i 13 n 2 ; vi 387. 
Tarn Taran, i 106 ; iii 25 n 1, 

85, 89 ; iv 32. 
Tarpan, Hindu worship, v 9. 
Tasbi, see Rosary. 
Tash, i 87. 

Tastes, six physical, ii 116. 
Tasu, measure, iii 152 n 1. 
Tat (pure) Khalsa, Pref. xi ; 
v 250. 

Teg Bahadur, Guru, prophecy 
regarding coming of English, 
Pref. xiii, xviii ; son of G. Har 
Gobind, iv 70, 331 ; marriage 
with Gfijari, iv 189, 331 ; at 
battle of Kartarpur, iv 206 ; 
departure for Bakala, iv 239 ; 
discovered by Makhan Shah, 
iv 333 ; invested as Guru, iv 
334 ; Dhir Mai's treachery, iv 
334 ; the Guru on forgiveness, 
iv -335 5 visit to Amritsar, iv 
336 ; refused admission to Har 
Mandar, iv 336 ; returns to 
Bakala, iv 337 ; founds Anand- 
pur, iv 338 ; malice of JDhir 
Mai, iv 338 ; visits Agra, 
Itawa, Priyag, Banaras, and 
bathes in Karmnasha, iv 344 ; 
visits Gaya, iv 345 ; Patna, iv 
347 ; visit of Raja Ram Singh, 
iv 349 ; who accompanies him 
to Kamrfip, iv 352 ; receives 
King of KamrQp, iv 3 54 ; king's 
conversion, iv 355; mound 
raised at Dhubri, iv 356; Raja 
Ram of Asam, iv 357; birth 



Teg Bahadur (continued) — 
of Gobind Rai, iv 357; the 
Guru returns to Patna, iv 359 ; 
departure for Anandpur, iv 
362 ; sends for Gobind Rai, iv 
364 ; visit of Kashmiri Pan- 
dits, iv 371 ; message to 
Emperor, iv 372 ; departure 
for Dihli, iv 373 ; halts at 
Saifabad, iv 373 ; arrested at 
Agra, iv 377 ; efforts of Em- 
peror to convert him, iv 378 ; 
his refusal and torture, iv 380 ; 
his thaumaturgic power, iv 
381 ; prophesies coming of 
English, iv 381 ; locked in 
cage, iv 383 ; sloks of consola- 
tion to his wife and son, iv 
384 ; appoints his son Gobind 
Rai his successor, iv 385 ; 
instructions to Sikhs about the 
disposal of his head, iv 386 ; 
executed, iv 387 ; head taken 
to Anandpur, iv 387 ; crema- 
tion of his body, iv 388 ; 
cremation of his head, iv 390 ; 
his hymns, iv 393 ; sloks, iv 4 14. 

Tej Bhan, father of G. Amar Das, 
ii 30. 

Temples, illustrations of, Pref. 

xxvii ; destruction of Hindu, 

Int. xlvii, xlviii, xlix ; ii 9 ; 

to Ramanuj, vi 100 ; to Rav 

Das, vi 318. 
Ten stages of man, i 279. 
Tewar, i 104 n 1. 
Thags, robbers, i 71 n 1 ; Thags 

and Jaidev, vi 10, 12. 
Thanesar, ii 109. 

Thappas, marks on crops, i 263 
n 2. 

Theism and Pantheism, Int. lxiii. 
Theology, comparative, Int. Iv. 
Thieves' plants, vi 7 1 n 3. 
Thirty days' fast, i 22 n 1. 
Thok bajana, vi 295 n 4. 
Thoughts, dying, i 67 n 1 ; vi 
80 n 1. 

Threads, seven, vi 272 n 6. 
Thucydides on Revenge, v 241 
n 1. 

Tiger's whiskers, iv 277 ; skin, 
iv 299 ; tiger and Guru, v 19 ; 
love of tigress, v 211. 

Tikke di War, ii 25. 


Tilak, 1 58, 135, 163 ; ii 11, 43 ; 

vi 99, 178 n 2, 286 n 6. 
Tilang, measure, iii 387 n 1 ; v 

286 n 4. 

Tiloka, officer of Kabul army, iii 

Tilokhari, G. Har Krishan cre- 
mated at, iv 330. 

Tilok Singh and Ram Singh, v 
224 n 1. 

Time-table, Indian, i 144 n 4, 
187 n 3. 

Tithes ordained for religious pur- 
poses, v 117... 

Tobacco forbidden to Sikhs, Pref. 
xxi, xxiii ; iv 342 ; v 97, 1 17, 

Todar Mai, Sikh, v 198. 
Todar Mai, Akbar's minister, vi 

Toddy, vi 320 n 3. 

Tola, weight, i 63 n 3. 

Tortoise, i 151 n 3, 165 n 2. 

Torture, implements of, Int. xlvi ; 
iii 92, 94. 

Trance, i 287 n 1. 

Translation of Sikh writings, 
difficulty of, Pref. vi, viii, 
xxxiii ; examination of, Pref. 
ix ; G. Arjan's injunction, 
Pref. viii ; certificate of cor- 
rectness of, Pref. x. 

Transmigration, Pref. xvi ; Int. 
liv, lxv ; i s n 2, 6 n 2, 9 n 1, 
38 n 4, 67 n 1, 83 n 1, 108 n 1, 
129, 137, 142 114, 226 n 1, 284 
n 1, 332 ; ii 8 n 1, 18, 207 ; iii 
68, 131, 136, 154 n 3, 174 n 2, 
185 n 2, 216 n 1, 312 n 1, 402 
n 7 ; iv 188, 230, 280, 282 ; 
v 20, 152, 214, 216, 22$; vi 
17 n i, 80 n 1, 96, 137, 139 n 1, 
149, 169 114, 186 n 3, 215, 
289 n i, 327 n 2, 404 n 1. 

Trees, benefits derived from, iv 
226 ; allegory, vi 242, 243 n 4. 

Tribeni Priyag, meeting of rivers, 
i 144 n 1 ; ii 257. 

Trilochan, Bhagat, iii 332 ; vi 
i» 58, 76, 77 ; hymns of, vi 78, 
79, 80, 81. 

Trinity, Hindu, i 40 n 3 ; iii 334 
n 1. 

Tripta, G. Nanak's mother, Int. 
lxx ; i 96, 100. 



Trumpp's translation of Granth, 

Pref. xiii, xv ; i 82 n 3. 
Truth, hi 136 n I, 245 n 1 ; iv 

259; vi 53 n 1. 
Tulsi Das, vi 349. 
Tulsi plant, v 78 n 2. 
Turban, tall, iii 1 10 n 3 ; Sikh, 

v 215 n 1 ; couplet repeated 

when tying on, iii 187 n 1 ; vi 

256 n 1, 258, 387. 
Turiya Pad, vi 123 n 1. 
Turks, iv 39 n 1 . 
Turmeric, vi 286 n 6. 

Uch ka Pir, v 192. 
Udaipur, Int. xlviii ; vi 348 n 1. 
Udas, G. Nanak's definition of, 
i 106. 

Udasia, founder of, Int. Iii, lxxix, 
lxxx ; iv 288 ; revolt of, v 34 ; 
made copy of Granth Sahib, 
v 87. 

Ude Singh, Bhai, Int. lxxvi ; v 
101, 120, 129, 135, 140, 142. 

Ugarsen, vi 41 n 1. 

Uma, Parbati, v 284 n 3 ; vi 
334 n 2. 

Umbrellas, iii 15 n 1 ; vi 47 n 3. 
Union of soul with God, Int. lxv ; 
i 10 n 1. 

Unity of God, Sikh belief in, Int. 

lxi, Ixii ; iv 255 ; vi 41. 
Universe evolved from God, v 

33i n i- 
Upanishads, iii 53 n 1. 
Urdu, alien to Panjab, Pref. xxiv. 
Ursa, stone used in worship, i 

323 n 1. 

Vairag, vi 105. 

Vaishnav faith, ii 32, 93 ; vi 89 

n 2, 92 n 3. 
Vaisyas, caste, i 16 n 1 ; vi 104 

n 2. 

Valmik, iv 265 ; huntsman, vi 104. 

Vamacharis, vi 104 n 3. 

Varans, or castes, i 16 n 1. 

Vasudev, father of Krishan, i 57 
n 1 ; v 320 n 4. 

Vasuki, serpent, vi 74 n 2. 

Veds, Pref. v ; Int. In; i 4 n 4, 
116 n 3, 207 n 1, 269 n 2, 348 
n 1, 371 n 3 ; ii 31 n 1 ; iii 
321, 420 ; v 323 n 3 ; vi 125, 
320, 324 n 1. 


Vedantists, claims of, v 103 n 2 ; 

vi 27, 160 n 1. 
Vegetables of the earth, i 282 n 1 ; 

eighteen loads of, vi 333 n 2. 
Veiling of the face, ii 62 n 1 ; vi 

116, 213, 343. 
Veracious History, Lucian's, iv 


Vessels of shopkeeper, i 23 n 1 ; 

sun-dried cooking, vi 128 ; 

clay, vi 226 n 1 ; testing 

soundness of, vi 295 n 4. 
Vibhishan, vi 24 n 2. 
Vichitar Natak, v 1 n 1. 
Vichitar Singh and elephant, v 


Vidhwa, see Widow. 

Vidur (Bidur), ii 331 n I ; vi 252. 

Vikramadit, Raja, ii 102 n I ; 

and Mahabharat, ii 31 n 1. 
Viro, G. Har Gobind's daughter, 

iv 66, 84, 144, 236 ; v 2. 
Virtues, the five, i 127 n 1. 
Vishisht and Vishwamitra, vi 

58 n 1. 

Vishnu, Int. xli, Ivii, lix, lxxxi ; 
i 40 n 3, 57 n i, 61 n 4, 81, 
151 n 3, 199 n 1, 300 n 1 ; ii 
160 n 1, 348 n 1 ; iii 6 n 1, 
203 n 1 ; iv 254 n 5 ; v 273 
n 3, 274 n 3, 279 n 2, 330 n I ; 
vi 63 n 4, 83, 87 n 2, 89 n 2, 
92 n 3, 93 n 2, 94, 99, 105 n 1, 

, 345 n 1. 

Vishnu Sahassar Nam, v 261 n 1. 
Vitthal, god, vi 23 in 1. 
Vows, religious, iii 77 n 1. 
Vyas, compiler of Veds, ii 31 n 1, 
234 n 2. 

Wadali, G. Arjan's sojourn at, 

iii 34, 35 ; G. Har Gobind's 
visit to, iv 142. 

Wahguru, i 56 n 1 ; ii 107, 207 
n 1 ; Gur Das's explanation of, 

iv 135 n 2. 

Wali, Bawa, of Kandhar, i 172. 
Wali Khan, son of Subadar of 

Jalandhar, iv 138. 
Wall, Hindus' path to paradise 

through opening in, v 74 n 1. 
Wanni, gold colouring, ii 202 n 1. 
War, i 218 n 1. 

Water, Sikh initiation with, i 47 
n 1, 372 n 1 and 2 ; G. Nanak's 



Water (continued) — 

use of, i 50 ; waving of, i 231 ; 
G. Gobind Singh's baptismal, 

v 94 ; scattered at Malwa, v 
223, 316; animals which live 
in, vi 42 n 1 ; of Ganges, vi 
320 n 2. 

Water-lily, i 265 n 2 ; vi 337 n 1. 

Wazir Khan, iii 17 ; iv 187, 195 ; 
sent to G. Har Gobind, iv 11, 
26, 34, 65 ; intervenes to pre- 
vent further war, iv 96. 

Wazir Khan, the emperor's vice- 
roy, V 195, 209, 213, 220, 222, 

234. 248. 
Weapons used by Sikhs, v 129. 
Weavers, Kabir's allegory on, vi 

136 n 1 and 2, 170 n 4. 
Week days, seven, vi 190 ; 

names of, vi 269 n 1. 
Weights and measures, i 63 n6, 

158 n 1, 188 n 1 ; iii 152 n I, 

252 n 1, 282 n 1 ; iv 66 n 1, 

278 n 1 ; vi 37 n 1, 169 n 5, 

295 n 2. 

Well, bawali, ii 87 ; G. Nanak's, 
i 172; iii 154 n2; at 
30 ; haunted well, vi 37 ; body 
as, vi 149 n 1 ; well rope, vi 
404 n 11 ; allegory of, vi 166, 

Wheels, Persian, iii 35 ; vi 49 
n 2. 

White elephant's pearls, iii 311 

Wholesale dealer, God as, i 60 
n 1. 

Widows, concremation of, for- 
bidden to Sikhs, Pref. xxii, 
xxiii ; i 381 ; ii 228 n 1 ; v 
277 n 1 ; vi 1 S3 ; ceremonies 
at, vi 178 n 2 ; remarriage of, 

vi 154 n 3. 

Wife versus widow, i 76 n 6. 
Williams, Indian Wisdom, i 129 
n 1. 

Wilson, Religion of the Hindus, 
Int. xlvii ; vi 104 n 3, 140 n 1. 

Wine, forbidden to Sikhs, Pref. 
xxi, xxiii ; G. Nanak on, i 182 ; 
Brahman's punishment for 
drinking, iv 134 n 1 ; Gur Bilds 
on, iv 168 ; G. Har Rai's 
interdict, iv 288 ; Kabir on, 
vi 142. 

Women, emancipation of Sikh, 
Pref. xxii ; G. Nanak on duty 
of, i 289 ; customs of Hindu, 
ii 84 n 1 ; G. Nanak's defence 
of, i 244 ; married woman's 
dress, iii 112, 278, 319 n 1, 
369 n 1 ; Gur Das on, vi 251 ; 
Hindu women abducted, v 157 
n 1 ; once selected their own 
husbands, v 266 n 1 ; remain 
with parents after marriage, vi 
166 n6, 375. 

Wooden cake of Shaikh Farid, vi 
368, 398 n 1. 

Wordsworth on transmigration, 
Int. lxvii. 

Worlds, fourteen, i 116 n 2, 344 
n 2 ; denizens of, like children, 
i 217 n 2 ; dangerous ocean, i 
6 n 1 ; father and father-in- 
law's houses, i 74 n 7 ; world as 
an egg, i 1 16 n 2 ; creation and 
destruction of, i 138 n4; ii 
348 ; people of the, i 217 n 2, 
300 n 2 ; iii 230 n 2, 294 n 1, 
391 n 1. 

Worship, symbols of Hindu, i 
99 n 1 ; ui 51, 83, 112, 329 
n 1 ; vi 90 n 5, 93 n 2. 

Wrestler's turban, iii 1 10 n 3. 

Xenophon, Int. liii. 

Ya Ali, Muhammadan war-cry, 
v 41. 

Yadavs, deception of, vi 47 n 4. 

Yakshas, iii 229 n 1. 

Yama, i 210 n 2. 

Yavan, i 12 n 1. 

Year, Indian, i no n 1, 138 n 3. 

Yog Sutra, ii 16 n 1. 

Yogini, vi 93 n 1. 

Yudhishtar, iv 408 n 1. 

Zabardast Khan, Viceroy of 

Lahore, v 168, 222. 
Zafarndma, v 201. 
Zakaria Khan, Int. lxxv, lxxvi, 

Ixxxii, lxxxiv ; i 2. 
Zamindar, Int. Ixxi. 
Zeus, Int. lviii, lix, lx. 
Zindagi Ndma, v 103. 
Zoroastrianism, Int. lvi ; i 89 

n 2.